Trail Blazers

Damian Lillard unfazed by Scott Brooks comments after Russell Westbrook's career night

Trail Blazers

Russell Westbrook, love him or hate him, is a force to be reckoned with. 

On the verge of averaging his fourth season with a triple-double, the Wizards PG did the unthinkable Monday night, becoming the first player in NBA history to have at least 24 assists and 21 rebounds in a single game.

His head coach Scott Brooks has run out of superlatives to describe Westbrook's efforts. 

Instead, Brooks, who has coached Westbook for seven seasons across two different teams, is pointing to the history books. 

"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, Steve Nash 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. 

"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 any level of a player this league has ever seen."


On Tuesday, Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, who has supplanted himself as the most clutch player in the NBA, was asked about Brooks' comments on The Dan Patrick Show and whether it is a fair assessment. 

"He always going to have an argument for that," Lillard said. "Regardless of if people say he’s chasing stats— that takes a lot to be able to do that even if you’re trying your best."

Lillard and Westbrook have had a lot of contentious battles throughout the years, most notably the 2019 NBA Playoffs vs. the OKC Thunder. While the two are ultimate competitors on the court, there's no animosity off the court.  

"I think Westbrook gets a lot of unnecessary flack or hate," Lillard said. "His approach, how hard he plays, how aggressive he is, how much he cares— he’s a good person off the court." 

While the debate remains strong online regarding who is better between Dame and Russ and how Steph Curry and Chris Paul are folded into it all, when Lillard laces his shoes up to play a game, on thing is clear in his mind:  

"I don’t think no point guard in the NBA is better than me."