MANILA, Philippines – For the sake of winning, a little sacrifice would not hurt.
Russell Westbrook said he will be able to work things out with James Harden as they seek to lead the Houston Rockets to an NBA championship.
Basketball fans and pundits have been skeptical of the pairing of NBA’s most ball-dominant players, but Westbrook has reason to believe otherwise.
“[W]e both understand that we have one common goal and that’s to win a championship. So we understand what we have to do. And I’m not worried about it and I know James is not worried about it,” Westbrook said.
“I can play off the ball. And I don’t have to touch the ball to impact the game. And that’s the best way, for me, to be able to come back and impact this team.”
“I can do other things on the floor to be able to make sure we have a better chance of winning.”
Westbrook has established himself as the NBA’s top do-it-all star, averaging a triple-double in the last 3 NBA seasons for the Oklahoma City Thunder, while Harden has led the league in scoring for the last two years.
The two former Most Valuable Player winners, though, have been criticized for their style of play as they thrive the most when the ball is on their hands.
But their familiarity with each other from playing 3 seasons together for the Thunder is expected to ease the transition.
“Me and James have been friends for many, many years, since I was 10 actually,” Westbrook said.
“We played with each other for many years in Oklahoma City and so to be able to win something, you’ve got to be able to sacrifice some parts of your game.” – Rappler.com