Is Russell Westbrook becoming the Clippers’ locker room leader?

Is Russell Westbrook becoming the Clippers' locker room leader?

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Russell Westbrook is one of the more polarizing NBA players of his era. From his fashion sense to his questionable play on the court at times, Westbrook is often in headlines for one reason or another. Westbrook walks around with a rough exterior, and for good reason. But underneath, there’s a down-to-earth person like many walking the streets. For example, Russ recently took his Clippers teammates for a weekend in Las Vegas to work out and bond.

During this bonding excursion, Westbrook also gifted each player an iPhone 15 Pro Max and apparel from his “Honor The Gift” brand.

“You could tell it was genuine,” guard Terance Mann said, according to the LA Times. “That he has done this before, in terms of bringing people together.”

For as much criticism as Westbrook gets, one thing you never hear about Russ is that he’s a bad teammate. Not that he has to do these things, but Westbrook is often mentioned by players around the association as being a “real one.”

Even when other star players haven’t necessarily gelled with Westbrook on the court, you don’t hear guys speak down on him in terms of being there and showing up every game. Whether he has a good, great, or subpar performance, you get maximum effort from Russ whenever he’s on the floor.

During Westbrook’s short tenure with the Lakers, he got the brunt of the criticism for that team’s implosion, so it was easy to overlook his contributions at that time. In all honesty, some of that criticism launched at Westbrook was warranted, but it’s never all on one guy. Then you see something like this where he’s bonding with teammates and making the effort to go above and beyond to build team chemistry. It almost makes you want to root for him if you haven’t been already. 

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.