3 top NBA Draft prospects all named Russell Westbrook as their favorite player

Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Clippers (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Clippers (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /

Three of the best prospects in the 2023 NBA Draft listed Russell Westbrook as their favorite NBA player. 

Russell Westbrook’s place his NBA history has been a hot debate topic in recent years.

The former MVP’s unique style has left the public opinion split. Some think he’s a generational point guard, the kind of nuclear athlete and prolific playmaker who comes along once in a lifetime. Others would deem him an inefficient stat-padder whose impact on winning has been vastly overstated.

The correct answer is unknowable (he’s definitely a Hall of Fame, once-in-a-lifetime player), but regardless of what you think about Westbrook personally, there’s no denying his impact on NBA culture and the strength of his most fervent supporters.

Some of those supporters are about the join the league in a few hours.

3 top NBA Draft prospects name Russell Westbrook as favorite player

The NBA Draft Media Guide features a list of each future draftee’s favorite NBA player. Apparently, three soon-to-be lottery picks — Victor Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson, and Cam Whitmore — all answered Russell Westbrook.

It’s not difficult to fathom why players and regular fans alike are drawn to Westbrook. Even with his myriad flaws, there has rarely been a star player who competes harder than Russ. He gives 110 percent effort and takes special pleasure in seeking and destroying weak opponents, not unlike a shark stalking an injured fish.

His athleticism is one of one and he’s responsible for some of the best highlights of the last decade.

While Wembanyama definitely shares Westbrook’s competitive spirit and Cam Whitmore can obviously relate to Westbrook’s high-flying acrobatics, there has never been a prospect more married to the tenets of Russell Westbrook than Scoot Henderson.

A twitchy, bouncy, unusually strong 6-foot-3 guard, Henderson shares Westbrook’s flair for the dramatic. He takes absolute pleasure in embarrassing opponents. He will truck through smaller defenders in the paint and frequently detonate over top of unsuspecting heads at the rim. He will bellow to the rafters, trash talk, flex — the dude is Westbrookian across the board.

That’s part of why Henderson’s stock is so high and why so many believe in his path to stardom. He’s so motivated to dominate that it’s difficult to not buy the upside. Sure, his decision-making can be a tad erratic and he definitely gets too deep in his own bag every now and then, but Henderson is impossibly strong for his age and already a tier-one explosive athlete. He’s a better shooter than Westbrook for what it’s worth, and his talent for creating for teammates is undeniable.

Expect the Henderson-Westbrook comps to continue for years to come. It’s only fitting that he of all prospects named Westbrook as his idol.

Next. One final NBA Mock Draft. dark