Russell Westbrook has a strong supporter in Golden State coach Mark Jackson, the former point guard who couldn’t have been more different than Westbrook during his playing days.
But on Wednesday night, prior to the Thunder-Warriors game, Jackson reiterated how much respect he has for Westbrook’s ability, while shooting down criticism that Westbrook seems to constantly receive. It’s a stance Jackson often took on national broadcasts while analyzing games for ABC and ESPN alongside Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Breen.
“Man, the guy’s a great player,” Jackson said. “And I knew that even when I wasn’t a coach, covering the Thunder.I didn’t understand the nitpicking about shooting too much. No, the guy’s a heck of a basketball player. Kevin Durant is a superstar. Russell Westbrook completes this team and makes it tough for an opposing team’s coach or design to be simply on Kevin Durant. Those are two guys with their foot on the gas pedal. It’s an extremely well coached basketball team and once again has a legitimate chance.”