The Wednesday Pop Culture Rant would like to inform all the Fanboys and gamers living in their parents’ basements, that no, you will not be Olivia Munn’s rebound from Aaron Rodgers.1 We know you have it all planned out: Stalking Olivia at Comic-Con and then “accidentally” bumping into her; the devastatingly witty and profound opening line that will intrigue her; the long courtship, during which she will invest millions and provide voice work for your brilliant RPG; the dramatic break-up where you announce over her pleas and sobs that you are moving on with Scarlett Johansson. Dream on, brothers, dream on.
Speaking of rebounds, The Rant hates to be a homer, but in the name of Bill Russell,2 how can there even be a debate that Russell Westbrook is the MVP of the NBA? Wait, how many other players have averaged a triple double in the history of the league? Oh that’s right, one. Oscar Robertson. Fifty-five years ago. Robertson will always remain the triple double King because he worked his magic while receiving death threats from racist fans. Perhaps Steph Curry can keep that in mind the next time he rests after that grueling five games in ten days he had to play. Such a hero. By all means, Steph, be sure to take a break while the Dad that saved all year so he could take his kids to a game explains that Mr. Curry just couldn’t lace them up tonight, what with all the first-class travel and five-star hotels he has to endure. But look, there’s the one and only Patrick McCaw to take his place.3 Enjoy.
Westbrook plays with a ferocity that may eventually cause him to melt into a puddle of pure adrenaline during a game. Contrast this with an actual conversation The Rant heard on a national radio show of whether the Lakers were trying hard enough to lose so they could protect their draft picks. We want Westbrook to be cloned so the Fighting Westbrooks can play the Striving Westbrooks. The Rant assumes some sort of special goggles would be required to keep our retinas from igniting.
Already the pundits have started declaring that achieving a triple double has somehow become easier. That Westbrook rebounds too much. That you can’t win a ring with someone that gives you everything he has every second he plays. Pundits strive for nothing more than participation medals while questioning your actual accomplishments.
The Thunder charge an obscene amount for season tickets while having no intention of spending enough to put the pieces around Westbrook they need to win. The ownership screwed Seattle out of the team to move to OKC in the first place, and they won’t hesitate to do the same if the sellouts stop and another city dangles a shiny new building in front of them.
Here in Oklahoma, Thunder general manager Sam Presti has been deified as some sort of a cross between Gandalf and a Cray supercomputer. Analytics baby! Please. The Rant’s dog knew to draft Kevin Durant, and no one had an inkling Westbrook would become a basketball Kraken. Combining the obvious and the lucky constitutes sports genius in this culture.
Stop laboring over your mock draft and complaints about the movie that hasn’t been released yet, and watch someone that has entered the transcendent zone of playing a game so well it has become art. Combining a limitless desire with freakish athletic ability, Westbrook takes his body to the edge of a what a human can achieve on an almost nightly basis. Now imagine performing your chosen profession at that level for even one day, and perhaps you can appreciate for a moment what Westbrook does free from the noise and sneering of those that have nary a clue of what greatness looks like.
- Olivia isn’t faring so well in the opening PR salvos. The story being spun thus far claims Olivia controlled Rodgers, leading to the weird and awkward estrangement from his family and home-town friends. Because Aaron is pure and good; we just forgot while he was under the spell of Munn. Which just proves a sports fan base will always crush any collection of geeks. And that it sucks to be a female celebrity.
- The Rant will take Russell and Jordan in their primes plus three dudes from the Washington Generals and mop the floor with any five you care to send at us. Russell would have Shaq laughing so hard he would be rendered useless, and Jordan would climb so far into LeBron’s head he might forget how to dribble.
- McCaw has been scorching the nets at 5.2 points per game in April, so get ready for the show.