Basketball legend Larry Bird hopes Russell Westbrook “wins 10 MVPs in a row”.
Add “Larry Legend” to the list of those in love with Russell Westbrook and his game.
Speaking to ESPN.com’s Mike Mazzeo, Indiana Pacers legend Larry Bird was quite exuberant in his praise for Westbrook.
"“Here’s a young man that has had some serious knee injuries–bad knee injuries throughout his career–yet every time he walks on the court you know you’re going to get 100 percent from him. He attacks, he’s fearless and he plays the way it should be played, so I’m all for him,” Bird said when asked of Westbrook’s accomplishments this season mostly without last year’s MVP, Kevin Durant."
But Bird’s praise didn’t stop there. “I hope he wins 10 MVPS in a row. I just love players that compete on a nightly basis and really take the challenge to their opponents.”
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10 MVPS? Bird, himself, won three in a row from 1984-86 for the Boston Celtics. That was playing in an era filled with great Hall of Fame talent, perhaps better than today’s. But today’s is rather competitive as well.
For instance, this season there are five legitimate MVP candidates, each of whom could have strong arguments made in regards to their candidacy.
Besides Westbrook, the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis is doing things few third-year players have ever done and looks like a transcendent talent. James Harden of the Rockets is almost single-handedly carrying the Houston Rockets to a top-four seed in the ultra competitive Western Conference.
LeBron James, who has won four MVPs–back-to-back in 2009-10 and again in 2012-13. Though the Cleveland Cavaliers haven’t been the world-beaters we expected prior to the season, and James is far from the only great talent on his team, he has been MVP-worthy.
Then there’s the similarly passionate and endearing Stephen Curry, who also is far from the only great player on the Golden State Warriors’ squad, can make a case for the MVP.
But Bird decided to echo his praise for Westbrook, in part because he was asked specifically about the Thunder guard. But also because of all those players, it is probably Westbrook who most reminds him of himself.
Westbrook has a ridiculous nine triple-doubles this season, and is regularly featured on nightly top plays highlight packages. And he’s led the Thunder, for much of this season without Durant, to a 41-30 record and currently a 2.5 game lead for the eighth spot in the Western Conference over the Phoenix Suns.
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