Russell Westbrook Doesn’t Care About And Ignores Head Coach Billy Donovan’s Offensive Play Calls

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Russell Westbrook Doesn’t Care About And Ignores Head Coach Billy Donovan’s Offensive Play Calls


I hate to say this, but Russell Westbrook averaging a triple-double again this past season illustrates how overrated his MVP season was. Don’t get it twisted, I love Westbrook’s desire, competitive nature and putting everything on the line to win, but his achievement outlines how media driven his MVP season really was.

It saddens me to say, but the nature in which Westbrook has achieved this feat has also been underwhelming for a lot of fans. There has been an ongoing discussion about him padding his rebounding stats and even footage to back it up, and although I don’t really have a problem with him chasing rebounds, sacrificing his defense in order to do so is the thing that doesn’t sit well with me.

In his MVP season, Westbrook was ranked dead last in the entire league among guards for defending the three-point line which was more evidence of his desire to grab boards, often at the expense of his big men. Again, I don’t hate that he was looking for those rebounds, but it’s something to consider when looking back on his MVP season and last season from an objective standpoint. It’s also a little disappointing considering how good he can be as an on-ball defender. But the main problem seems to be on the offensive end. At least for Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan. We know that Westbrook is a hard player to coach but on the latest episode of the Hoop Collective podcast on ESPN Radio, Brian Windhorst revealed what he’s hearing from league scouts.


“So here’s the thing about Westbrook. You talk to scouts, they will tell you that essentially Westbrook has no interest in anything that Billy Donovan has to say offensively from the bench. I’m not saying what they draw up in timeouts and stuff isn’t the case, but they will say that Donovan doesn’t even bother making play calls and when Westbrook gets into that mode where he’s just going to do what he’s going to do, there’s really nothing that can be done.

And you could make the argument that you’d have to be stronger with him, or whatever, I mean this is now what his fourth season coaching them? I think you come to just an understanding that when Russell gets into those moods there’s nothing you can really do and Billy has clearly instilled tremendous defensive principles into their team. But they do rank 19th offensively and this is ultimately going to be an issue for them.”


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