Unabashed NBA-icon Charles Barkley held court recently with sports-broadcast impresario Dan Patrick to rhapsodize concerning a number of topics.
Chief among Sir Charles’ declarations included his assertion that Oklahoma City Thunder pacesetter Russell Westbrook plays harder than anyone, ever —including Michael Jordan.
The following quotes are rare gems from that interview, courtesy of The Dan Patrick Show.
“I’ve been in this thing for 30 years, I’ve never seen a player give maximum effort every single night like him (Westbrook). And I’ve played against the greatest.”
“Even Jordan didn’t play as hard as Russell Westbrook does. And Michael’s the greatest of all time. But this guy (Westbrook) gives maximum effort every-single play, every-single night. And you’ve got to respect that.”
“Well he’s (Westbrook) one of the few guys I’d pay to see play because I think I would get my money’s worth on each possession, right?”
“No question. Yes.”
“And he (Westbrook) never stops.”
After addressing Westbrook’s unrelenting on-court style, the conversation shifted toward Sam Presti’s clever dealings as Oklahoma City Thunder General Manager.
“That guy Sam Presti, other than my man in San Antonio (R.C. Buford), is probably the best G.M. in the NBA.
Below is complete video of Barkley’s take on Russell Westbrook’s competitiveness. Barkley’s full interview with Patrick can be seen on Patricks’ website.
Further substantiating Barkley’s candor is Westbrook’s (31.2 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 10.4 apg) triple-double average as eleven regular-season contests remain.
The 6’3 guard is poised to become the first player in 55-years to accumulate a seasonal triple-double. Another of Westbrook’s commendable contributions is his essential role in Oklahoma City’s (41-30) eighth-consecutive 41-win campaign.
Most recently, vs. Philadelphia, Westbrook garnered triple-double #35 of his year while shooting an efficient 6-6 from the field to finish with 18 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds.
On March 22, the Oklahoma City Thunder rebounded from their only blemish in eleven days by defeating visiting Philadelphia 122-97.
And, along with a historic triple-double, at the heart of OKC’s landslide win was Russell Westbrook’s indomitable resolve.