If you’re looking for someone to worship Stephen Curry, go somewhere else.
The Golden State Warriors star point guard has been unbelievable to start the 2015-16 season — truly unbelievable. He’s producing a highlight a minute (Vine after Vine after Vine…) and averaging 33.4 points, 5.6 assists and 5.1 rebounds per game. His Dubs are a league-best 11-0.
That’ll be all for now. All it takes is a simple Twitter search, and you can fill up three oceans with gushes about America’s new favorite player.
So instead of fanning Curry with huge leaves, let’s talk about someone who’s gotten wrongfully overshadowed by him — Russell Westbrook.
Curry is fun. Westbrook is an animal.
The Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star plays the way a lion hunts — violently, aggressively and in a manner that just screams “I’m coming for blood.”
At 6’3”, 200 pounds, he’s the king of the NBA’s jungle.
Through OKC’s first eight games, Westbrook has averaged 25.2 points, 10.9 assists and 8.6 boards. He’s also shooting about 46 percent from the field.
Remember when everyone whined about how Westbrook wasn’t a true point guard, and all that nonsense? Well, Curry is proving that scoring PGs can absolutely win at the highest level.
If you passed third grade — first off, congratulations! — you can see that Curry has a higher scoring output.
But Westbrook is doing more with less.
Golden State is loaded with talent. Klay Thompson is an All-Star, and Draymond Green and Harrison Barnes are probably going to be one day. Andre Iguodala is one of the best and most versatile bench pieces in all of basketball.
Yes, Westbrook has Kevin Durant — who, by the way, will be out about a week with a hamstring strain.
Anyone else? Not really.
Serge Ibaka and Dion Waiters can play, yet they look pedestrian compared to the Warriors’ weapons. Regardless of how the roster is looking at a given time, the Thunder always have a chance as long as they have Russ (or a healthy KD).
Last year, Westbrook did all that a human could do to get OKC into the playoffs. Throughout March and April, No. 0 became a triple-double machine and averaged 31.5 points (41.6 percent), 9.5 assists and 8.3 rebounds.
After taking a knee to head against the Portland Trail Blazers on Feb. 28, Westbrook suffered a facial fracture in his cheek. There was literally a dent in the side of his head.
He missed a game, and returned with a mask less than a week later to put up 49 points, 15 boards and 10 assists in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
In the end, the Thunder came up short based on a tie-breaker with the New Orleans Pelicans. Both teams were 45-37.
Golden State, of course, broke out the brooms on Anthony Davis and the Pels and went on to smack everyone else around en route to a championship.
Would things have been different if it was Westbrook and the Thunder who got the first crack at GSW?
Honestly, probably not. But it would’ve been a hell of a lot more interesting.
Unfortunately, the first time we’ll see the league’s best point guards square off is on Feb. 6, which seems so far away.
Here’s hoping both of these studs will be healthy by the time they go toe-to-toe.
Type in “Stephen Curry” on Google, and you’ll get 43,900,000 results in under a half-second. Type in “Russell Westbrook,” and you’ll get 16,300,000.
This is a limited example given Curry’s endorsements, but it does speak to just how much fans are consuming this guy. He’s trending on Twitter almost every night the Warriors play. People who don’t even follow basketball know all about the baby-faced assassin.
Please, please don’t read this and think it was written to paint a poor picture of Curry. He’s far-and-away the early season’s MVP. And it’s not even close.
It’s just that he shouldn’t be the only topic of conversation. The primary one? Sure — but not the lone source of buzz.
Last year, ESPN Insider Jeff Goodman polled 25 “NBA folks,” which included players, coaches and executives, in search of the consensus best point guard. Westbrook got 13 first-place votes; Curry got nine.
“He might be an alien,” one exec said. “I’ve never seen anyone like him before. His athleticism and antics are off the charts.”
That’s spot-on. Westbrook is really unlike any point guard we’ve ever encountered. You’ll have a hard time trying to find a more athletic, physically imposing player at the 1-spot in NBA history.
“He’s a very, very rare guy, because in my opinion, if he never took a shot, he could still dominate a game,” new Thunder coach Billy Donovan said, per ESPN’s Royce Young, after his floor general went for 21 points, 11 assists and a career-high 17 boards in a 102-85 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. “He can rebound, he can assist it, he can defend, he can do anything.”
With or without Durant, Westbrook is going to continue to treat rims like they disrespected his grandparents. He’s going to play through injuries. He’s going to win no matter who his teammates are.
Curry is going to continue to fill it up and dominate the headlines. He’s going to continue to be the best player on the best team in basketball. He’s going to continue to supplant LeBron James as the face of the NBA.
Will Westbrook continue to get overlooked thanks to Curry? Let’s hope not.