Jerry West is one of the greatest players in NBA history, a man who played his entire career for the great Los Angeles Lakers team. He played with the Lakers from 1960-1974 and then even coached the LA Lakers from 1976-1979. He's been around the NBA and basketball for a long, long time. He's see many great players and many great performances. So the compliments he is giving Russell Westbrook recently are very unique and rare. Jerry talked about Russell, and the terrific performances he is putting in night in and night out, along with the incredible firepower Oklahoma's starting point guard plays with.

Unlike Westbrook, Jerry West had won an NBA championship, he did that in 1972, and while he lost in the finals in 1969, he played so well he won the NBA Finals MVP. So West finished his career with a championship ring and a finals MVP award. Something Russ is hoping to accomplish one day in his career.

Jerry West has high praise for Russell Westbrook

Jerry West recently talked about Russell Westbrook, as has everyone else recently. And he complimented him on the great season he had. While he didn't want to straight up say who his MVP is, he hinted at Westbrook being the Most Valuable Player in his eyes, all while showing respect for the other three in the race. But the biggest compliment Jerry had for Westbrook was when comparing him to the man known as the greatest basketball player of all time.

When referring to Russell, Jerry said:

"We're looking at a reincarnation of Michael Jordan, who might be a little better in terms of athletic ability."

Wow, that's a strong statement from the Laker legend. While Westbrook arguably does have the athleticism of His Airness, there is a lot of other details to a basketball player that has Michael well ahead of Russell.

But West didn't go into detail of what he entirely means with that statement, he certainly did discuss how he compares Russell to MJ in terms of athleticism. He complimented MJ saying: "I always felt that Michael Jordan was one of those unbelievably gifted athletes" but also added that Westbrook may very well be more athletically gifted.

While he may not be comparing Westbrook to the level of Michael Jordan as a player, he harped on his statement about Westbrook's athletic ability.

Did West go overboard with this statement?

While Jerry West didn't exactly state that Russell Westbrook is a better basketball player than Michael Jordan, rather he compared his athletic ability to that of Michael's it still seems odd for another NBA legend to suggest another man is a reincarnation of the great Mike. Especially when that man has never accomplished many great feats that MJ has, including six NBA championships with six finals MVP's, five regular season MVP's and two gold medals. Russell may have broken triple double records all season, but it would take more than that for him to be even mentioned in the same sentence as the greatest basketball player of all time. Jerry West should know that.