Shannon Sharpe says Magic Johnson is much more impactful than Russell Westbrook and anyone who thinks otherwise doesn’t know basketball.
Going into this 2020-21 NBA season, Russell Westbrook was deemed to be an untradeable contract and was criticized for being a player that simply could not lead a team to meaningful wins. After getting traded for perhaps one of the worst max contracts in the league (John Wall’s) and landing on the Washington Wizards, the 2017 MVP decided to prove his worth to the basketball world yet again.
Russell Westbrook has been dominating at the guard spot, posting up yet another season where he averages a triple double with 22 points, 11 assists, and 11 rebounds a night. He is doing so while helping lead the Wizards to a spot in the play-in tournament alongside the league’s leading scorer, Bradley Beal.
Prior to having matched Oscar Robertson’s record of 181 triple doubles, Westbrook received praise from the greatest point guard in NBA history, Magic Johnson. Magic claimed that Russ deserved ‘love and respect’ and later on admitted that the 32-year-old is doing things even he couldn’t do in his prime.
Shannon Sharpe claims Magic Johnson was much more impactful than Russell Westbrook.
In the most recent episode of Undisputed, Shannon Sharpe went off about the impact both Hall-of-Fame point guards had on their respective teams and each iteration of a team they were on. Sharpe claims that anybody who believes Russell Westbrook is more impactful on NBA hardwood than Magic Johnson knows nothing about basketball.
How close is Russell Westbrook to Magic Johnson in terms of impact?
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) May 10, 2021
The fact of the matter is that Sharpe is in the right here. Russell Westbrook was given stars such as Kevin Durant, James Harden, Victor Oladipo, and Paul George and only managed to reach a single Finals in his career; a series where the Thunder won merely a single game.
The criticism surrounding his inability to be the first or even second option on a title contender doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s a unicorn when it comes to player types. The man is averaging more rebounds than Giannis and Embiid, after all.
However, comparing Russell Westbrook to Magic Johnson is simply unfair. The latter was a 6’9 point guard who won Finals MVP in his rookie season while playing center. He would go on to win 4 more NBA Finals and 3 league MVPs while cementing himself as a sure shot ticket to the promiseland in a very, Lebron-esque way.