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Russell Westbrook freaked out over a blown play

May 21, 2011, 1:18 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks - Game Two Getty Images

The popular storyline coming out of Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals was the benching of Russell Westbrook and his perceived frustration on the bench, despite his obvious celebrations of the team’s success in winning the game down the stretch. ESPN has the scoop on what exactly happened that made Westbrook so upset during Game 2.

In the closing minute of the third quarter of Oklahoma City’s 106-100 victory against Dallas, Westbrook made a play call that his teammates failed to run properly. When the play broke down, Westbrook made a one-on-one move that resulted in a turnover.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks promptly took Westbrook, who had four turnovers, out of the game. Brooks slapped the All-Star point guard on his backside as he walked by.

Westbrook turned around and glared at the court. Then, when Brooks walked toward him and made a comment, Westbrook yelled, “I’m trying to run the [expletive] play, man.”

Westbrook continued yelling on the bench for roughly a minute — saying, “Tell them to run the [expletive] play,” according to the source — prompting assistant coach Maurice Cheeks to console him as play continued.

via Source: Russell Westbrook ‘benching’ stemmed from botched play – ESPN.

So something that wasn’t a story two days ago still isn’t a story. How many times have you seen a player express frustration over a blown play call? The Boston Celtics did it about 1,700 times this season and no one’s saying it’s a big deal for the Celtics’ locker room chemistry. Westbrook is clearly a fiery competitor, and it’s true that eventually, he’s going to want to stop being treated as Robin to Kevin Durant‘s humble, quiet, and difficult to find due to the lack of space he crates off-ball Batman. But this story is really just one of a key turnover by a young star, and the result being a bench run which encouraged the coach to stick with his guys.

The chemistry on the Thunder is becoming more complex with each element of success they reach, but it’s natural to expect some friction. Let’s not get carried away just because Westbrook had a turnover on a blown play. There’s much more dynamite in the stack than just this.

  1. giffordville - May 21, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    Westbrook is a fierce competitor, but I agree with the fact that this was not a big deal. OKC showed me something in that instance that I have doubted at times this year. The coach is the coach, and the players play for him. And, let’s not forget, Westbrook is playing alongside one of the best offensive players of this era. So, as long as he remains in OKC, the Robin role will have to be accepted.

  2. volcom2143 - May 21, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    I’m rooting for Westbrook to shut all the media and critics up tonight . I’m so sick of hearing about this . The guy is 2nd team NBA . He is learning the PG position on the fly . Wow . Cut the man a break . I sure would love to see him in a sixers uniform someday . The guy can straight ball . Leave him alone and let him play . I just don’t understand why he is such a target .

    • denverhoopdreams - May 21, 2011 at 2:05 PM

      He is a target for the same reason Perkins is a target. His attitude.

    • henryd3rd - May 21, 2011 at 2:15 PM

      He’s such a target because this is a compelling story. Think about it! The team wins a must win playoff with their starting point guard on the bench and other then his pride he was not injured. Last time we saw something like this was when Scottie Pippen refused to enter a playoff game against the Knicks because the play that Jackson called was not for him. Gotta love it!

  3. denverhoopdreams - May 21, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    I’m getting tired of people saying that Westbrook is a humble kid. I like OKC, and Dallas both as much as they can be rivals to Denver. However, every game I’ve watched Westbrook in, you can definitely tell that he is not HUMBLE at all.

    He has a lot of growing up to do whether he can ball or not. Maybe if he acted his age the consistent game would come along with him. And he will never be 2nd Team in the next five years. The next decade maybe.

    • henryd3rd - May 21, 2011 at 2:25 PM

      I don’t care if he’s not a humble. Humility only takes you so far in the pro game. Confidence and arrogance are what separates champions from also-rans. Like Leo Durocher said “Nice guys finish last”.

      • denverhoopdreams - May 21, 2011 at 2:53 PM

        So Durant will finish last?

        That’s good to hear.

      • pepesmith88 - May 23, 2011 at 5:41 PM

        I don’t know about that denver.

        I hear he has Nate Robinson in that back up all this time so he’s not exactly the nicest guy out there

        I wouldn’t bet on him finishing last

  4. denverhoopdreams - May 21, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    I think he’s been hanging out with Perkins a little to much.

    • henryd3rd - May 21, 2011 at 2:20 PM

      If he is in fact hanging out with Perkins I can’t find too much wrong with that. Perkins was instrumental in the Celtics’ winning their last NBA Championship; so let Westbrook and Perkins hang together. I can think of a lot of worst company for him to keep.

      • denverhoopdreams - May 21, 2011 at 3:06 PM

        I really don’t see Perkins as the reason the ’08 Celtics have a ring. But thats just opinion.

      • zackd2 - May 21, 2011 at 3:32 PM

        Really? Because the Celtic fans/media told me they would have won in 09 if Perkins was healthy. So cant say he’s the reason they lost, but he doesnt matter when they win

        Right green teamers?

      • denverhoopdreams - May 21, 2011 at 3:58 PM

        If you want to believe those excuses… The only reason I saw them lose game 7 was because they lacked energy… and that isn’t really something Perkins brings.

  5. drmonkeyarmy - May 21, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    A little late with this story Matt Moore. Read the same thing on ESPN virtually after the game. Can’t you blog about the draft combine or something instead of a recycled story?

    • denverhoopdreams - May 21, 2011 at 4:33 PM

      Umm, this isn’t a BREAKING NEWS blog. I don’t think you’ve been informed.

    • denverhoopdreams - May 21, 2011 at 4:33 PM

      Oh, and if you actually read the article, you’d see he was referring to the article posted on ESPN. Double fail for you.

  6. drmonkeyarmy - May 21, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    Take it easy denverhoopdreams. Not saying that it is or would be “breaking news”. It just seem a bit stupid to put the story up now seeing as how it has been out there for a bit now. I mean, why not yesterday? Just seems like lazy blogging if you ask me. Furthermore, the cousin blogs associated with this blog break news stories. So, it could be assumed that this blog would follow suit.

  7. mogogo1 - May 21, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    “Westbrook is clearly a fiery competitor, and it’s true that eventually, he’s going to want to stop being treated as Robin to Kevin Durant‘s humble, quiet, and difficult to find due to the lack of space he crates off-ball Batman.”

    First, typo alert: “creates” is what you meant to write. Second, what on earth are you talking about regarding Durant? How can somebody who scores at the clip Durant does be “difficult to find”? And you really believe Westbrook is going to raise a stink if he can’t supplant Durant as the #1 option? Westbrook has plenty of fire, but I don’t think he’s so delusional that he believes he’s the player Durant is.

  8. lunasceiling - May 21, 2011 at 6:51 PM

    I couldn’t care less if Westbrook is humble or not. I’m watching him play basketball, not planing to go have a beer with him.

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