Former Thunder player Anthony Morrow talks OKC, Westbrook and Durant

Russell Westbrook, Anthony Morrow , OKC Thunder, (Photo by Torrey Purvey/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook, Anthony Morrow , OKC Thunder, (Photo by Torrey Purvey/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images) /

Former OKC Thunder vet Anthony Morrow talks Westbrook MVP potential, Durant – Russ relationship and his time in Oklahoma.

This offseason many former and current OKC Thunder players keep referring to Russell Westbrook as an ideal teammate. Each time one of his peers takes to the microphone or is interviewed the  Westbrook questions flow.

Enes Kanter speaks glowingly of the Brodie as does Victor Oladipo. Yeah, we get that Colin Cowherd probably will never change his stance – it brings in too many viewers. Likewise, Russ is never going to win over media savant Bill Simmons who still claims James Harden should’ve won MVP two seasons ago.

Well Bill, cover your ears, because former teammate Anthony Morrow believes Russ could garner his second MVP this season. Morrow was emphatic in his praise of Westbrook in an exclusive interview with Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops.

Westbrook MVP 2.0?

This isn’t news, clearly Westbrook is among the best in the league. That’s why he’s still in the mix among the Vegas odds makers who ranked him seventh best to win the coveted award as the best in the association.

It’s no surprise LeBron James and Anthony Davis rank one – two in the Most Valuable Player odds. Neither currently has another All-Star on their squad. Though each superstar could change those odds just by having good seasons themselves.

The super team Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers each have multiple stars on their squads. Westbrook is in a similar scenario with Paul George. But, there are things the OKC Thunder point guard could do in order to make Morrow look like a fortune teller.

For example, a key way for Westbrook to improve his odds of capturing a second MVP would be for the OKC Thunder to win the Western Conference or placing second. Most pundits assume Golden State and Houston will take the top two spots. Another key would be if Westbrook could alter something in his playing style. In particular the minutes he spends on the court with  Schroder will be telling.

While most assume Russ is unwilling to not be the main playmaker or play off ball it’s an absurd presumption given that was precisely the role he played when Harden was still with OKC.

Humble Russ:

Like many of his former teammates Morrow tells of the every man qualities of Westbrook off court:

"“You wouldn’t even know he’s a superstar. My girl and his wife are very close. He’s always with family, his wife, his brother, or his dad and mom. Always around his family. I think that says a lot about him as a person. On the court, he just takes stuff really hard. If he doesn’t play to his standards, it’s almost like he let the team down.”"

Westbrook is the classic case of what you see (on court) isn’t necessarily reflective of who he is off court. The best examples for those who can’t envision it are to pull up his post All-Star game interview with the NBA Inside Crew. He’s humble, polite and soft spoken. Russ’ many social media videos of him singing also reflect his humorous side.

Clearly, Westbrook is a typical family man who adores his wife and child and is close to his brother and parents. If anything, he seems to be more like the average person off court. But, that doesn’t sell in the media.

Durant and Westbrook outgrew each other:

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The other key takeaway from Morrow’s interview is the forward felt K.D. and Russ out grew each other. That’s arguably the best take on the situation I’ve heard. Both were talented enough to be the alpha on their squads. And, they had tried for years to make it work.

"“I feel like they outgrew each other,” Morrow said of Westbrook and Durant. “They tried it for 10 years; they went to the Finals. I tell them all the time after the fact. … I think they just outgrew each other in terms of their personalities and their games.”"

Morrow continued with Stinar that all is well between the two former superstars and it’s only the media keeping the feud alive. I take a little umbrage with this given K.D. does seem to still feed into that narrative occasionally, but let’s give Durant the benefit of the doubt and see what this season brings prior to each meeting between the squads.

As for Morrow, the 3-point specialist who was traded in 2016-17 to Chicago didn’t play in the NBA last season. Feeling he still has hops, Morrow said he may elect to land with an NBA squad or is open to joining celebrity Ice Cube’s BIG3 League.

Next. Ranking top 50 dunks in Thunder franchise history. dark

For OKC Thunder fans who want to stay connected with Morrow he started a podcast with Jarrett Jack‘s brother Justin.

In terms of Morrow’s Westbrook MVP assessment, it may be a stretch, but it sure would be fun if it happened, if for no other reason to see how Cowherd react