The Russell Westbrook Picture is Cool as Hell

Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook / Justin Ford/GettyImages

There are few players in the NBA, regardless of status, that have taken more heat than Russell Westbrook over the last 18 months or so. Such is life when you play poorly for the Los Angeles Lakers and alongside LeBron James. The point guard brought his A-game last night, though, and when his team needed it most.

The Los Angeles Clippers were playing the Memphis Grizzlies without Kawhi Leonard or Paul George. Every game is a must-win at this point in the year; the Clippers entered the evening one game behind the No. 4 seed and only two games out of the play-in tournament. Each night brings consequences. Even one loss could prove a death knell on the season. So, of course, it was Westbrook who saved the day with a virtuoso performance, dropping 36 points and 10 assists while making five three-pointers.

It was maybe the most surprising statline of the year. It came in a clutch moment. And that is why the picture going viral of Westbrook is cool as hell (taken by Joe Murphy of Getty).

Much of the criticism Westbrook receives is justified. We can still recognize greatness when it happens. Having that kind of night for a team he joined less than two months ago in that kind of moment is undeniably awesome and he was rewarded with the coolest picture of the basketball season.

Sports are fun.