‘One Man Fast-Break’ – Magic Johnson Compares Russell Westbrook To Himself and LeBron James

Published 05/09/2021, 5:49 AM CDT
ORLANDO, FL – FEBRUARY 24: (L-R) Russell Westbrook and LeBron James attend Ball So Hard All Star Weekend Party on February 24, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)


Russell Westbrook continues to defy expectations. Since arriving in Washington, Westbrook initially endured a stretch of poor form. But in the last few months, he has stepped up to the plate. Westbrook has been performing at the highest level possible and putting in great numbers. Many fans believe that the Russell Westbrook of old is back after some time away. One NBA legend even compared Westbrook to himself and LeBron James.

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Magic calls Russell Westbrook a ‘one-man fast break’

Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson spoke to The Athletic about Russell Westbrook. He noted that Westbrook is one of the most remarkable players he has ever seen. Other than LeBron James, Johnson doesn’t see many players in the NBA who accept responsibilities on both ends of the court. Westbrook is like LeBron James and Magic, in that he can get the ball back and start a counter just by himself.

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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)
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“In today’s game, you’ll see LeBron (but) you see very few people who say, ‘I’m going to control all the action that happens on offense and defense.’ It also creates faster fast breaks for the Wizards. Just like me – when I got the rebound, it was actually better for the Lakers. Because now, I’m gone. I’m leaving two, or most of the time, three defenders behind me. That’s why Showtime was Showtime. Especially if I got the rebound. And it’s just like that with Russ; Russ is a one-man fast break.”

Russ plays with incredible ferocity

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These comments coming from Magic Johnson are high praise for Westbrook. Johnson is one of the elite players in the history of the NBA. In fact, many fans consider Johnson the greatest point guard of all time. Westbrook, who also plays the point guard position, puts up incredible assist numbers on a nightly basis, holding a candle to Magic. While Westbrook isn’t the passer Magic was, he can get the ball to his teammates in great positions.

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 17: Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) is fouled by Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox (5), right, during the fourth quarter of the game between the Washington Wizards and the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, March 16, 2021. The Sacramento Kings defeated the Washington Wizards 121-119. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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One of the most remarkable qualities of Westbrook is his explosiveness. Westbrook is one of the most athletic players we have ever seen. Few players from his position can use their speed to get to the rim with ferocity. Russ plays with explosiveness and ferocity that isn’t common these days. And that is one of the many things that makes him one of the most special players in the NBA today.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1313 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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