Wizards head coach Scott Brooks began his postgame press conference on Monday night remarking how he was running out of words to describe Russell Westbrook, who had minutes earlier become the first player in NBA history to have at least 24 assists and 21 rebounds in a single game.
So, Brooks took it further than perhaps he ever has in all the times he's talked about Westbrook, whom he coached for seven years in Oklahoma City and has now reunited with in Washington.
Brooks said he is the second-best point guard of all-time.
"I used to always say he's going to probably go down as the third-best point guard ever, but I think he's passed one and he's going to go down as probably the second-best. One is obviously Magic [Johnson]. What he does, there's no point guard that has ever done it. Nobody. Nobody," Brooks said.
Brooks was asked a follow-up but didn't elaborate on which point guard Westbrook passed or who is right behind him. So, you will have to fill in the blanks as to whether Brooks meant Stephen Curry, John Stockton, Bob Cousy or somebody else. Curry would certainly come to mind, as he is also a former MVP still in his prime.
But Brooks is serious about Westbrook being one of the very best ever, as the Washington Wizards point guard is going through his fourth career season averaging a triple-double. No one has ever done that and Westbrook is also now only four triple-doubles away from taking Oscar Robertson's all-time record.
"I've been fortunate enough to see him for eight years do a lot of things that are pretty much superhuman at times. Point guards don't do what he does. They aren't built that way," Brooks said.
"There might be some that shoot better, there might be some that probably can do certain things better. But there's nobody in the history of the game that can do what he does throughout the stat sheet. That guy is as high as level of a player this league has ever seen."
Westbrook was told of Brooks' praise and didn't address the specific ranking. He just shared his appreciation for Brooks, giving him some credit for his success.
"I'm grateful for somebody like Scotty, not just as a coach but as a friend," Westbrook said. "No. 1, he gave me my first opportunity to be able to go out and be me. He's always allowed me to do that since Day 1."