This season is not just about betting on NBA games – though it is a lot about that, too. It is also about working class hero Russell Westbrook giving star struck Kevin Durant the what-for. While Durant is busy “feuding” with some rapper, Westbrook is being heaped praise upon by NBA legends Michael Jordan and Nate “Tiny” Archibald. As MJ inducted Westbrook into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame on Thursday, His Airness made it a point to praise the latter’s sense of loyalty to his team, as well as his passion for the game of basketball.
“Another thing you guys should be proud of is the sense of loyalty this kid has shown,” Jordan said. “When I saw he chose to stay in Oklahoma I was so proud.” The six-time NBA champion and online NBA betting darling did clarify that he was not there “to try and bash anybody that’s not here” and that “everybody has a choice,” but if the size 16 shoe fits. In the days of yore, people only left Oklahoma for California for a damned good reason, like having their entire mode of life wiped off the face of the Earth by massive dust storms. But Kevin Durant is no Tom Joad.
Where were we? Ah, yeah. Jordan is not the only Hall of Famer giving Westbrook mad props. As it turns out, Nate Archibald – know as Tiny; not to be confused with Tommy Lister – is rooting for the OKC Thunder point guard to achieve what only Archibald has ever accomplished: leading the league in points and assists per game. Currently, Westbrook is second in scoring (31.8 ppg) behind Toronto Raptors’ DeMar DeRozan (33.3 ppg) and second in assists (9.8 apg) behind Houston Rockets’ James Harden. Fans betting on NBA games also like to wager money on individual feats such as these.
Archibald called Westbrook “the hardest-driving guy in the league” who will “challenge anybody.” Tiny added that “I wasn't as big as him, but I loved to take the ball to the rim and challenge bigger guys” like Westbrook does. Of course, things have changed quite a bit since the 1972-73 season when Archibald averaged 34.0 points and 11.4 assists per game with the Kansas City/Omaha Kings (as well as a whopping 46 minutes per game). For example, Tiny did not have the luxury of that fancy three-point line. “These guys are bigger and stronger than me,” Archibald said. “And the technology is different. The medical technology is different.” Tiny’s minute load that season resulted in several injuries down the road.
So, will Russell Westbrook manage to match what only Archibald and no else have ever done before, ever (and Oscar Robertson too, if we count the 1967-68 season in which he averaged 29.2ppg and 9.7apg but the league determined its leaders by totals and not averages, as it did between 1946-47 and 1968-69). Fans betting on NBA games will have to wait and see. Meanwhile, let’s not lose sight of what’s really important; that Kevin Durant is not the one who gets to do it.