Today it was officially announced that Russell Westbrook, along with James Harden and Kawhi Leonard, is indeed a finalist for the 2016-17 MVP award. This season will always be remembered as one thing… The year Kevin Durant left, unlocking Russell Westbrook, and Russell laid waste to the entire NBA—averaging a triple double. Max Kroes of The Dream Shake has done a great job of tallying up the votes, and has determined that more than likely Westbrook won the MVP vote. He adds, “The deficit Harden is facing is enormous because Harden only gains three points for each first-place ballot, which is of course negated by each Westbrook first place ballot. Harden would need 13 yet-unseen ballots to mirror Kevin O’Connor’s, which is Harden-James-Westbrook, for a five-point spread, just to draw virtually even in our estimate.”
I can’t find the article or interview anywhere, but somewhere Anthony Morrow admits that he calls Russell “Pac” for the similarity to the rapper 2pac, both in mentality, passion, and attitude. If Westbrook wins, I can picture him cranking up 2pac’s “Picture Me Rollin” in the car to soak in the accomplishment—maybe even posting some of it on Snapchat. He likes to speak in code through social media: cupcakes, “now I do what I want,” etc… Russell Westbrook has been heavily criticized throughout his entire career, and as if he needed any more fuel to the “Why Not” fire, winning the MVP just proves—he can and will continue to be Russ.
Picture Me Rollin’ is easy to interpret. It’s an ‘ode to haters’ Pac wrote once he was released from Prison, and as the track comes to a close, he goes on quite the arrogant rant calling out everyone he wants to see him free and successful. I think this can apply to Russell, and correlates with his attitude and the way he approaches the game. I love 2Pac, and I love Russell Westbrook so the pairing could not have been more fitting. I’ve transcribed that rant below, but Russell’s version. Enjoy.
“Is y’all ready for me?
Picture me rollin’ triple doubles roll call.
You know there’s some muh’freakers out there
I just could not forget about,
I wanna’ make sure they can see me.
Number one on my list is that so called photographer–Kevin Durant,
All you b**** a** Warrior’s.
Can you *brothers see me from there?
Ballin’ on y’all punk a**!
Picture me rollin’ triple doubles, baby
All them *brothas up in Oklahoma,
I told y’all *brothas when I come home it’s on.
That’s right *brotha, picture me rollin’ triple doubles.
Oh, I forgot! Tom Haberstroh
Yeah, that b**** had a lot to talk about on Tru Hoop TV,
Can Tom see me from here?
Can you see me, Tom?
Picture me rollin’ triple doubles.
And all you punk haters: Cowherd, Bill Simmons, Kevin O’Conner…
Can you see me?
Am I clear to you?
Picture me rollin’ triple doubles *brotha, legit,
Free like Kobe & Iverson all day.
You can’t stop me.
You know I got my *brothas up in this motherfreaker
Dipo, Steven, Kanter, Dre, Nick, Alex, Doug, Sabonis, Grant,
It’s Thunder Up dog
Can you picture us rolling?
Can you see us Zach Lowe?
Is y’all ready for me?
We up out this b****
Any time y’all wanna’ see me again,
Rewind this season right here, close your eyes…
And picture me rollin’ triple doubles.”