Russell Westbrook has made it no secret that he plans to have a big 2020-21 campaign. The newly-acquired Washington Wizards guard showed how serious he was about that mission when he turned Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons into his first casualty of the year on Wednesday night.
With his team up 10 and six minutes left in the third quarter, Westbrook brought the ball up the court and got ready for Simmons to pick him up. Almost as soon as he crossed the half court line, the former league MVP darted left, gave Simmons a filthy stutter step, dropped him and then drilled a jumper.
The video speaks for itself.
Russ got Ben Simmons pic.twitter.com/AuyYrLpJfN
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 24, 2020
After nailing the shot, Westbrook began to strut in the other direction, breaking out the finger gun celebration.
Westbrook was traded to the Wizards earlier in the offseason in exchange for John Wall and a protected first-round pick. In his regular season debut, Westbrook recorded a triple-double (13 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds) before the third quarter ended – finishing the game with 21 points, 15 assists and 11 rebounds.
Unfortunately, despite Westbrook’s impressive efforts, Philly won the game 113-107.
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 23, 2020
“Not good enough,” Westbrook said of his performance after the game.
“Honestly, I am kind of disappointed in myself, just some mishaps and plays where I could have been better.
“I don’t like to lose. At any point in my career, I love to go out and win the game. I got to be better next game.”
Westbrook has now recorded 45 career triple-doubles through three quarters, a mark four times greater than any other player from the past 25 years.
Next up for Westbrook and the Wizards: a showdown against the Orlando Magic on Saturday.