James Harden went for 40 points while Westbrook dropped 21, grabbed 12 boards and had nine assists en route to the Rockets’ 116-112 win. While being an assist away from a triple-double against his former team is a major storyline of the night, Westbrook’s comments following the game were the big takeaway.
Westbrook gave us a look at his mindset on the court, even when going against some of his former teammates and buddies in a Thunder jersey. It turns out that his only friends out there are the ball, ‘Spalding,’ and his teammates, period, he’s not going to say shit to guys on the other side.
“This is how it goes: When I hoop, I have no friends,” Westbrook said. “On the court, they know not to talk to me. Steven is a real close friend of mine, but inside those lines, there’s no friends. Spalding, that’s my friend, and my teammates, but that’s it. Before the game, after the game, I’ll talk to my guys. That doesn’t mean I don’t have friends, but during the game, I don’t. If you try to talk to me, I ain’t going to say s— to you.”
There is no question that Westbrook is one of the more intense guys in the NBA and this quote backs that notion up. It’s such a basketball ball guy quote saying Spalding is his only friend out there, but you can’t hate on it; he’s just explaining how he flips that switch on when he steps between those lines.
It’s pretty clear there is no love lost between Westbrook and his former club.
He also showed up Monday night in leather pants, so he was clearly ready to put on a show.
Westbrook is averaging 24.3 points, 12.7 rebounds and 9.7 assists per night as Houston sits at 2-1 on the year.