Isaiah Hartenstein on the qualities of Russell Westbrook as a teammate
Rockets center Isaiah Hartenstein is another player that expressed his admiration for the walking triple-double Russell Westbrook and cited how it is to be on the same team with the former MVP.
In a Facebook Q&A with host Craig Ackerman, the 21-year-old center was asked about the locker-room qualities of his teammates in Houston. After labelling Danuel House as the funniest teammate, he spoke about Westbrook and how focused he is during the game:
‘’Russ gets serious right before tipoff, he’s in his mode. … He’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever had. When people start talking about he’s not a good teammate and stuff like that, I’ve never really got that. He’s a great guy to be around. He helps me whenever I need help.
I’m impressed with what I’ve seen from Russ, just how focused he is when the game starts. To me, he cares a lot about the team, and whenever you need help, he’ll help you. So I love him as a teammate.’’
In the past, some of Westbrook’s former teammates such as Enes Kanter, Mitch McGary, Kendrick Perkins and Alex Abrines have made statements similar to Hartenstein’s, so why all this commotion from some people in the media?
After the departure of Kevin Durant in 2016, a lot of people in the media started questioning how Westbrook’s personality had affected Durant’s decision. What it was also misunderstood was the high energy, the passion and the trash-talking which are some of the components that composed his personality and at some point were used as the reasons that ‘’players didn’t want play with Russell.’’ Westbrook's reputation received a ton of hits during the last four years, but it looks like the players that have/had played alongside him have nothing but good things to say about him.
Before the suspension of the season, Westbrook had a phenomenal season with his new team the Houston Rockets (40–24). He was averaging 27.5 points per game, 8.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.7 steals, shooting on a career-high shooting percentage of 47.4% from the field in 35.9 minutes.