If there’s one guy who was a fan of the team the Thunder have built in OKC, it was Kobe Bryant. In 2012, Bryant said the Thunder had three of his favorite players in the league – Durant, Westbrook and top reserve James Harden – as well as the player he considers the best post defender in the league, Kendrick Perkins.
He was particularly protective of Westbrook, who draws frequent criticism for occasionally taking more shots than Durant and committing so many turnovers.
“Everybody needs to just lay off on Russell. That’s a bad little dude, man,” Bryant said. “You guys are fortunate to have him. You guys have two explosive scorers. I like how he’s playing. He just has to continue to improve and do his thing.”
Bryant even sees some of himself in Westbrook.
“He’s got the same type of dog that I had in me, that I still have in me, when I was coming up playing with Shaq. He’s got the same fight,” Bryant said.