When people think alpha males in the NBA, the list doesn’t get too long without mentioning Russell Westbrook’s name. He’s shown in his career that he’s not friendly to anyone on the court who isn’t a teammate, and his ultra-competitiveness is always on display.
Playing with James Harden in Houston last season took Westbrook out of his normal point guard role, and reports indicate he wants that to change.
The Athletic reported that Westbrook is asking out of Houston.
Westbrook was just traded for Chris Paul, two first round picks and two additional pick swaps. The Harden-Westbrook fit seemed questionable to many people at the time due to their ball-dominant styles of play, but the stars shrugged off the concerns.
“When it comes to me and James playing together, who’s going to have the ball, who’s not going to have the ball, it really doesn’t matter,” Westbrook said at the Houston Rockets' media day press conference before last season.
These reports indicate that those concerns were well warranted. In addition to that, The Athletic reported that Westbrook is “uneasy” about the Rockets' accountability and culture.
A Westbrook trade would be a big blow for Houston. Simply put, you don’t trade a player of Paul’s caliber and first round picks to get one season out of Westbrook. Houston’s best bet is to somehow try to fix the Westbrook-Harden tandem, and the new coaching staff may be the key to doing that.
If Houston plays a similar style of basketball as the last few seasons, Westbrook will more than likely part ways, and the Rockets will be left searching for Harden’s help.
The Weeknd performing at Super Bowl LV
Popular R&B singer The Weeknd announced that he’ll be performing at halftime of Super Bowl LV. He has five No. 1 hits. Starboy, Blinding Lights, and The Hills represent some of his biggest global hits.
“We all grow up watching the world’s biggest acts playing the Super Bowl, and one can only dream of being in that position,” the Weeknd, said in a statement. “I’m humbled, honored and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage this year.”
The Weeknd’s R&B and Pop skills allow him to have a wide audience and fan base that should cater well to the Super Bowl stage. A tip of the hat goes to Jay Z’s Roc Nation team, who has been working with the NFL to diversify its reach and audience.
Kentucky O-line coach succumbs to cancer
Kentucky offensive line coach John Schlarman has died at 45 after a battle with cancer.
Schlarman helped Kentucky put together consistent and dominant offensive lines. They were semifinalists for the Joe Moore award in 2016 and 2019, which goes to the nation’s top offensive line.
“I’m heartbroken to learn about the passing of my friend, John Schlarman,” Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops said in a statement. "My prayers go out to LeeAnne and the kids, Joseph, Benjamin, Matthew and Evelyn, through this very difficult time.
Even while battling cancer, players and coaches said that Schlarman showed up and produced results. He rarely missed practices when he was receiving treatment.