Honestly, though, who among us doesn’t? For mental health, for physical health, for a number of reasons.
The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard seems to be exhausted – at least mentally – lately, and it’s shown in the past two games as the Thunder concluded a dismal two-game road trip with a pair of underwhelming losses to Portland and Utah.
And let’s face it, people around these parts need Westbrook to be as happy as possible. The future of the team, this season, etc., are tied up in Westbrook’s success.
He’s been combative. He’s been angry, and it’s only December. What’s next for Westbrook? After all, things have been fairly decent so far this season for OKC. What happens when things go really bad?
Because we’re dangerously close to a meltdown situation.
In the last two games, neither of which Westbrook has played his best and both of which are void of Westbrook’s triple-double, have ended with a terse, angry and upset Westbrook.
Against Portland on Tuesday, Westbrook kicked the ball away from Damian Lillard, threw a cross-court pass away from an official and then wouldn’t answer simple questions about what happened in those specific instances. He challenged a reporter by asking, “Did you watch the game?”
Perhaps the surliness is due to Victor Oladipo being out the past two games with injury or the fact Oladipo could be out longer. Perhaps it’s because Westbrook realizes this season is exactly what he’s asked for but didn’t realize how hard it would be. Westbrook is in charge and carries all the burden and expectation for this team. Sometimes that becomes a load to heavy to carry and now with most of the season still to go the realism has hit him squarely.
Wednesday, Westbrook bit back when a reporter asked about the importance of the triple-double.
“Honestly, man, people and this triple-double thing is kind of getting on my nerves, really,” Westbrook said after the loss to Utah. “People think if I don’t get it, it’s like a big thing. When I do get it, it’s a thing. If ya’ll just let me play. If I get it, I get it. If I don’t, I don’t care. It is what it is. I really don’t care. For the 100th time, I don’t care. All I care about is winning, man. All the numbers, don’t mean nothing to me.”
Well, the numbers mean so much to so many others. It’s OK if Westbrook doesn’t want to talk about his 12 triple-doubles this season or the Thunder’s 9-3 record in those games. But it’s also OK for people to ask Westbrook about it, too. It’s newsworthy, topical and frankly just interesting.
It’s probably best to get a break. The Thunder don’t play until Saturday.
But the thing is, when you’re a star, and you’re the only star on the team, the questions will come. There won’t be a break.
It’s only December, if Westbrook is this upset now, what happens if the Thunder continue losing, if the triple-doubles don’t happen as frequently? How will Westbrook react then?