The NBA’s reigning MVP plays with a fire and passion that few have matched in the history of the league. From the tip to the final buzzer he flies around the court with reckless abandon and fills up a box score while doing so.
Jason Kidd sees these sort of qualities in Westbrook’s game and compares him to another professional athlete who terrorized his opponents in the late 80s and 1990s: Mike Tyson.
Here is Kidd in an interview with ESPN:
“He is the [Mike] Tyson of basketball,” Kidd said of Westbrook, prior to Tuesday’s game between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Oklahoma City Thunder. “When the jump ball [goes up] he is coming as Tyson did [in getting] off the stool. When the bell rings he’s coming for you. Whenever he’s on the floor he plays at one speed and that’s fast and hard.”
Kidd says there is one other player in the NBA who possesses Westbrook’s speed and penchant for rocketing down the court:
“He’s a little different in that case that he’s probably the only one and then I would put [at] 1B in that same category, John Wall. Just that speed of coming at you every time you’re on the floor. There is no kind of walking the ball up, they are coming at you and causing problems.”
I have to agree with Kidd in his assessment of Westbrook and the comparison. Westbrook comes at you right from the beginning of the game going for the knockout punch, the difference between the two though is that Westbrook has the incredible stamina to last 12 rounds or 48 minutes in this case on a basketball court playing that style, while Tyson typically struggled when he was forced to fight beyond the first few rounds.
The Thunder are hoping that Westbrook doesn’t have the same sort of legal issues off the court that Tyson had out of the ring. I think they can feel pretty comfortable in knowing that he won’t.
Westbrook will try and defend the NBA’s version of a heavyweight title this season with the league MVP award, there are sure to be plenty of contenders.