WATCH: Russell Westbrook and Rajon Rondo Spark Up Old Rivalry Yet Again

Published 01/29/2021, 8:50 PM EST
Jan 26, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) argues with referee Michael Smith (left) during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports


Russell Westbrook is having a tough season. He is averaging career-lows in both points and percentages, even though he is still getting triple-doubles. Moreover, his Washington Wizards are one of the worst teams in the league, even with NBA scoring leader Bradley Beal on the team.

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Westbrook’s curious downfall began in the 2020 NBA Playoffs where his team was eliminated in the second round by the LA Lakers. Westbrook was with James Harden in Houston and fell in 5 games that series.

However, Westbrook headlined conversations after the series for getting into a court-side argument with some Laker family member. That family member turned out to be Rajon Rondo’s brother.

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Westbrook and Rondo just got into it again this season in the Wizards vs Atlanta Hawks matchup. This resulted in a double-technical on both players.

Rondo’s Hawks are running away with the game, even though Westbrook has had a strong showing so far. Brodie has 24 points through the first six minutes of the third quarter, while Rondo has eight points and has been perfect from the floor.

Russell Westbrook: Sparking up old fights again?

Russell Westbrook is one of the most passionate players in NBA history, and his ferocity is seldom matched on the court. However, Westbrook is in a slump that he has never encountered in his career before. He needs to assert his dominance and remind everyone who he is yet again, which he is doing in this game.

Jan 29, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) controls the ball against Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter (3) during the second quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Rajon Rondo and Westbrook have been stars in this generation. While Rondo peaked before Westbrook did, both men have been in the race for best PG over the last 15 years.

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Even though Westbrook has more individual accolades, he was outplayed by Rondo in the last playoffs. Those were the same playoffs that helped Rajon win his second NBA Championship.

They are dynamically very different but have always been in each other’s crosshairs through repeated matches. Tensions seem to be high in Washington right now, and maybe that is what came out on the court.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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