We've often talked about the fuel that drives Russell Westbrook, who seems to play basketball not with a chip, but a boulder, on his shoulder. The idea that he's long been overlooked and underappreciated. It's not imaginary fuel, not made up. Russell Westbrook really was disrespected much of his career. A visit with TCU basketball coach Trent Johnson on Monday brought another Westbrook story. Johnson coached four seasons at Stanford, 2004-08, during which Westbrook was coming out of high school and eventually signed with UCLA, with the last scholarship from the Bruins, who did not heavily recruit him. Johnson raved about the talent in the Pac-10 during that time. James Harden at Arizona State. Ryan Anderson and Leon Powe at Cal. Salim Stoudamire at Arizona. Aaron Brooks at Oregon. Nate Robinson, Brandoy Roy and Spencer Hawes at Washington. Kyle Weaver at Washington State (Johnson loved Kyle Weaver; said the guy who was part of the first Thunder team could guard anyone). Johnson's own Brook Lopez, Robin Lopez and Landry Fields at Stanford. USC's O.J. Mayo, Taj Gibson and Nick Young. And UCLA's Arron Afflalo, Kevin Love, Darren Collison, Luc Mbah a Moute and Jordan Farmar.
Overlooking Russell Westbrook
The Oklahoman | Jul 12