Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook received perhaps the ultimate compliment from a bona fide NBA legend after Los Angeles Lakers great Jerry West called him a ‘reincarnation of Michael Jordan.’

"I always felt that maybe Michael Jordan was one of those unbelievably gifted athletes," West said during a recent appearance on ESPN’s Jump. "But we're looking at a reincarnation of Michael Jordan who might be a little bit better in terms of athletic ability."


It’s not that hard to agree on West’s statement as Westbrook indeed put up a Jordan-esque performance during the regular season, becoming only the second player after Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double (31.6 points, 10.4 assists and 10.7 rebounds per game) in a season.

This postseason, the Thunder star continues to be a stats sheet stuffer as he already recorded two triple-double games, including the first 50-point triple-double output (51 points, 13 assists and 10 boards) in postseason’s history.

Westbrook, who ironically is the face of the Jordan sporting brand among active NBA players, will need to come up with another Jordan-liked performance on Sunday, if he wants his Thunder to level their first-round series with the Houston Rockets at 2-2 at Chesapeake Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Gibson earning locker room trust

Taj Gibson immediately emerged as one of the leaders in the Thunder locker room after arriving midway into the 2016-17 season as one of the Thunder’s acquisitions (the other is Doug McDermott) in a deal with the Chicago Bulls at the trade deadline.

Cliff Burnt of USA Today notes that Gibson has already earned respect from Thunder players by not only providing quality minutes off the bench but also becoming a role model for the team’s young players.

"They see I'm in here late nights, early mornings, just constantly working with my teammates, constantly putting work in," Gibson told Burnt.

"The confidence is going to be there because they understand you do the work, but I'm just trying to do whatever I can to help my team."

Gibson is playing in the last year of his deal worth $8.9 million and will hit the free-agency market this offseason. It’s still unknown if the Thunder is interested in re-signing the 6-foot-9 bruiser, who averaged 10.8 points and 6.2 rebounds during the regular season.

However, many teams – mostly NBA title contenders - are expected to line up for his service this summer. Based on the current trend in the free-agency market, Gibson’s next contract could be worth no less than $15M per season.