Russell Westbrook might be the best player who’s the worst for his team

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His numbers are so good! The results are so bad! What is happening?
His numbers are so good! The results are so bad! What is happening?
Photo: AP

Russell Westbrook is such a basketball enigma.

The future first-ballot Hall of Famer will be remembered as one of the most athletic and explosive guards to ever play the game.

We are talking about a man that has just consistently put up historic numbers throughout his career.

However, despite his excellence, there are always conversations surrounding just how useful he is as a basketball player. And that conversation is usually spurred on by stats like these.


I don’t understand how someone this good could be this bad for their team. And you can’t blame it on the fact that the Wizards are just terrible as a whole because Bradley Beal’s plus-minus is nowhere near as bad as Westbrook’s and they’ve nearly the same amount of games. Beal’s plus-minus on the season is -101 but Westbrook’s is a daunting -241 this season.

And it just doesn’t stop there. In the last few seasons, Westbrook’s plus-minus numbers in the playoffs we’re atrocious. He was a -37 in the 2020 playoffs, a -43 in the 2019 playoffs, and -36 in the 2018 playoffs, according to StatMuse.

When Westbrook was Houston, he only played in 8 games due to injury. The Rockets were 3-5 in those games and in only two of those did he have a positive plus-minus. On top of that, he posted the worst efficiency rating of his career, 12.2, during that series.


All throughout that time Westbrook’s style of play never changed. He was still stuffing stat sheets. He averaged 24.4 points per game, 10 rebounds per game, and 9.8 assists per game in the regular season during that time.

Westbrook’s legacy will always be complicated because of how hard it is to understand what you’re watching when he’s on the floor. He’s a tenacious player who can impact every aspect of the game, but his efficiency and decision-making have always left question marks. And in the most skilled era of basketball ever, those things are hard to win with.


But does that take away from how we should view Westbrook as a player? That question remains as complex as the man himself.