Former NBA Champion Rasheed Wallace Asserts Russell Westbrook as the Best Player in NBA

Published 05/20/2021, 11:04 AM EDT
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 13: Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) reacts after hitting a three pointer during the first quarter of the game between the Washington Wizards and the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, March 13, 2021. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)


Ever since the Seattle Supersonics drafted Russell Westbrook in 2008, he has been a man on a mission. The former MVP has set the league on fire with his incredible performances on both ends of the court. Westbrook was also the second player after Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double season. However, fans are in the notion of his stat-padding being the reason he achieves these numbers. The Washington Wizards lost their play-in game against the Boston Celtics as they are preparing to face the Grizzlies to reach the playoffs.

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In the latest episode of The Jump, Rasheed Wallace stated how Russ was the league’s best player.

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Rasheed Wallace’s surprising comments on Russell Westbrook

Wallace talked about how Westbrook has defied all odds to become the most important player for the franchise.

“This man is right now. I gotta say, Russ is the best player in the NBA right now. There is no disrespect to KD, or Kyrie, or LeBron, but right now, no disrespect to Steph either. I know you scoring champion, but man what this kid is doing right now.

May 8, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) reacts as hitting the game winning free throw during an overtime period against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Doug McSchooler-USA TODAY Sports

“Ain’t no disrespect to guys, Russell Westbrook right now is killing it man, if I am the pacer in the meetings, it will be how to stop Russ.”

It shocked the other panelists in the group as Wallace mentioned his name. But he stuck to his point of view on how Beal and Westbrook were the two best wingmen in the league. Even though the fans are still skeptical about the player’s mentality, Russ continues to prove the doubters wrong.

Westbrook needs to perform for the Wizards to reach the playoffs

Bradley Beal got injured because of his hamstring injury during the regular season, but Westbrook has stepped up to push the Wizards in contention for the playoffs. The stat line he produces is remarkable no matter what people say. He averaged 22.2 points, 11.7 assists, and 11.5 rebounds per game as it is his career-best. For a point guard to have that uncanny ability to be in the right position to grab boards, is astonishing.

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The degree of difficulty involved to average a triple-double game is through the roof, let alone an entire season. Often labeled as a ball-hogger, Westbrook has had his fair share of criticisms for the way he conducts an offense. That may be the reason he has not won an NBA title yet.

In addition, his player efficiency rating is just 19.5 hence proves why teams are skeptical about signing him up.

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While things didn’t go as planned during his time with the Rockets, he now looks like a man possessed. Despite having incredible stats in the regular season, it is his play in the clutch moments where the cracks get wide open. He had a poor outing against the Celtics where he didn’t conjure up points like we know he is capable of.

As the Wizards are set to face the Grizzlies for the last playoff spot, Westbrook needs to step up. The franchise is pinning their hopes on this talented point guard to carry them all the way. Although the pressure is on him to deliver, we all know what he is capable of, as this will be the best way to silence his doubters.

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Jacob Gijy

132 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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