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Russell Westbrook from Villain to Rocket Fan Favorite

There are times in movies where the villain changes his stripes and become the hero. Apollo Creed was the antagonist in the first Rocky and by the third Rocky, they were best friends. The Houston Rockets now have there own Rocky III movie happening this season with Russell Westbrook and their fans.

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Villain Westbrook

For 11 years Westbrook was the Oklahoma City Thunder. He battled players like Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin. The rivalry really picked up when the sixth man of the year James Harden was traded to the Houston Rockets before the 2012 season. The disdain between the two organizations hit another level after this play.

As we know Patrick Beverly plays one way hard and from opening buzzer to the final whistle. Westbrook was done for the rest of the playoffs after Westbrook suffered a torn meniscus. Many Thunder fans believe their team would have won the championship this year.

During this time Beverly was probably the most popular player on the Rockets. This would continue in 2017-18 when Harden and Westbrook were battling for MVP. Both sided went back and forth arguing who should win. Most Rockets fans thought Westbrook was stat-padding and wasn’t a winning player. Amazing how circumstances change your perspective on people.

Westbrook the Hero

Before the season started the Rockets pulled off a blockbuster trade bringing Westbrook to the Rockets in exchange for Chris Paul. This trade brought conflicting emotions for fans just like when Charles Barkley was brought to Houston in the late 90s.

Everyone knew it would take time for not only Westbrook to get use to his new team but for Rockets fans to embrace Westbrook. It was a slow start to the season for Westbrook as he struggled the first two months of the season. Russell Westbrook was coming off off season surgery and was playing with injured fingers. To start the season Westbrook was shooting under 25 percent from 3-point range.

The last month Russell Westbrook has regained his MVP form and has abandoned 3-point shooting and attacks the basket relentlessly.

Westbrook has scored 30 or more points for six out of the last seven games. With Harden struggling with injuries and his shot Westbrook has picked up the slack to help the Rockets to back to back wins. Westbrook is averaging 25.8 points 8.1 rebounds and 7.4 assist. Those numbers make Westbrook the best teammate Harden has had since being traded to the Rockets.

If Westbrook continues his MVP play and the Rockets go on to win a championship the villian will become the hero and save the day.

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Lachard Binkley
I am the Director of basketball for Overtime Heroics, a Contributing Writer for Space City Scoop, and a podcast host for Clutch City Control Room. I am also the creator of Rockets For Life. My articles have been featured on Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, and Apple News.
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