Michael Jordan is among the greatest basketball players of all time. Russell Westbrook is one of the best of the present.
But the Pro Basketball Hall of Famer and Charlotte Hornets owner sees similar qualities in the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar that drove his own career to legendary heights: passion and loyalty.
Jordan introduced Westbrook Thursday at his induction into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, heaping praise on a player, whose current averages of 31.8 points, 9.8 assists and 9.5 make him a front-runner for this season’s MVP award.
“I’m truly a fan of his,” Jordan said. “If you can ever say, being that we’re so many years apart, that I can now watch him play, I see a lot of resemblance in his passion for the game of basketball in the way I play the game of basketball.
“Another thing you guys should be proud of is the sense of loyalty this kid has shown. He could’ve easily come to Charlotte. But he decided to stay here in Oklahoma.”
Jordan’s compliment’s nearly floored Westbrook.
“Michael’s obviously the best that ever played the game,” Westbrook said, per The Associated Press. “He’s done so many things for the game of basketball, so many ways and broken so many barriers for guys like myself to be able to go out and compete at a high level, so it means a lot in that aspect. Off the court, he’s carried a great brand. It’s something I eventually want to do when I’m done.”
Westbrook trails Jordan by five MVP awards and six NBA championships, but apparently he’s on the right track.
Thumbnail photo via Mark D. Smith/USA TODAY Sports Images