Russell Westbrook Hypes His Skills: 'Want Me to Coach? S--t, I Can Do That Too'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2021

Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) passes during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Washington Wizards point guard Russell Westbrook served as his own hype man after posting his 27th triple-double of the season during Wednesday's 118-114 win over the Golden State Warriors

"I'm one of those players that if I need to defend at a high level, I can do that. If I need to score at a high level, I can do that," Westbrook told reporters. "Pass? I can do that. Rebound? I can do that. Want me to coach? S--t, I can do that, too."

His comments came after recording 14 points, 20 rebounds, 10 assists and three steals in 41 minutes against the Warriors. He was also tasked with guarding the red-hot Stephen Curry, who finished with 18 points on 7-of-25 shooting to finish below 30 points for the first time in 12 games.

"That's the thing that Russell probably won't get a lot of credit for, but he did a great job of guarding him [Curry], putting pressure on him, making him take tough shots. It wears him out," Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said. "Every now and then, an amazing player like Steph will have an off game, and a lot to do with it was Russell."

It's the type of performance that may help spark some unlikely late MVP discussions around Westbrook, who's been the driving force behind Washington's current six-game winning streak. It's helped the team move up to 10th in the Eastern Conference standings, the last spot in the play-in tournament.

That's not to say he should leap over the likes of the Denver Nuggets' Nikola Jokic, Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, Curry and the rest of the contenders to win the NBA's top individual honor, but his role in the Wizards' late-season surge shouldn't be overlooked. He previously won the award in 2016-17.

Westbrook, who's averaging 21.6 points, 11.1 rebounds and 10.9 assists while sharing the offense with Bradley Beal, is one of the league's ultimate competitors and matchups like the one he had with Curry on Wednesday night are when that really shines through.

Whether that would translate into being a great coach is hard to quantify, but the 32-year-old UCLA product surely wouldn't shy away from the challenge.