Russell Westbrook needs 16 rebounds in Wednesday night’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies to average a triple-double for the second straight season, and there has been some talk about him “stealing” rebounds in order to accomplish that feat. Not surprisingly, Westbrook has heard enough of that.
Westbrook has been accused many times of stealing rebounds from his teammates just to increase his own total. The star point guard addressed that while speaking with reporters on Wednesday.
“A lot of people make jokes about stat-padding or going to get rebounds,” Westbrook said. “If people could get 20 rebounds every night, they would. If people could get 15 rebounds, they would. People that are talking, saying whatever they need to say, they should try doing it and seeing how hard it is. … I’m tired of hearing the same old rebound this, stealing rebounds, all this s—.
“If I get to the ball faster than somebody else gets to it, that’s just what it is. If you don’t want it, I’m gonna get it. Simple as that.”
Westbrook insists he is approaching Wednesday night’s game the same way he always does, and that is by focusing on winning and not statistics. His comments on the subject came a day after Carmelo Anthony admitted that Westbrook “steals rebounds sometimes,” but he painted it as a positive tendency.
The idea of Westbrook padding his rebound stats has been somewhat of a running joke in the NBA for a while now, so it’s strange that he picked the day of the regular season finale to address it. Perhaps he felt Anthony left him no choice.
SOURCE: Larry Brown Sports – Steve DelVecchio