If you watch enough sports, you learn to anticipate when something cool is about to happen. You know what’s coming after Steph Curry spins his defender with a bouncing crossover beyond the three-point line, or when Adrian Peterson gets a safety one-on-one in the open field, or when Chris Sale works some chump to an 0-2 count. As I see it, nobody takes fans from “Oh yeah, here we go!” to “Oh shit! He just did that!” faster than Russell Westbrook.
The NBA has seen plenty of big point guards who are willing to hunt rebounds, but when Westbrook snatches one off the glass, it’s a signal to get ready for the good shit. The rebound is almost highlight-worthy on its own—he gets so high and hangs in the air for so long that it’s momentarily hard to believe he and the guys he is jumping over even play the same sport—but it’s what he does after he gets the ball that grabs you.
It seems like every time he gets a defensive rebound, Westbrook immediately turns and breaks to the other end of the court. The ensuing sprint is equally reckless and calculated, and sometimes it ends with Westbrook kicking it out to an open teammate for a spot-up three. It’s more fun when he outruns his own teammates or decides to take the shot himself, though, because that’s when things like this happen:
That’s about as fun as basketball gets, man, and Russell Westbrook only needs five seconds to prove it.