Enes Freedom shared a birthday message for Los Angeles Clippers guard Russell Westbrook on Instagram.
Westbrook, who turned 35 years old on Nov. 12, spent time with Freedom on the Oklahoma City Thunder earlier in his career. Freedom called Westbrook the “best player I have ever played with” and shouted out how great of a teammate the former MVP is.
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Calling Westbrook the best player he’s played with is a massive compliment from Freedom, who played alongside Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City as well. Freedom has also played with stars like Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard (during Freedom’s time with the Portland Trail Blazers) and legendary forward Carmelo Anthony (also on the Trail Blazers).
Westbrook won league MVP honors with the Thunder with Freedom on the roster, and he had multiple seasons in Oklahoma City where he averaged a triple-double.
He’s led the NBA in scoring twice (the 2014-15 season and 2016-17 season) and assists per game three times. A nine-time All-Star, Westbrook will likely find himself in the Hall of Fame when his playing career is over.
Now, the star guard has revamped his game to play a little bit more of a complementary role with the Clippers alongside Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and newly acquired guard James Harden. Los Angeles is hoping its group of veteran stars can lead the team to the NBA Finals this season.
Westbrook certainly gained Freedom’s respect from their time together in Oklahoma City, and it’s possible that Westbrook’s ability to will the Thunder to the playoffs – even after Durant left for the Golden State Warriors in free agency – is a big reason why.
A fierce competitor, Westbrook only missed five total regular season games from the beginning of the 2015-16 NBA season through the end of the 2017-18 regular season.
In the 2016-17 season, the first for Westbrook without Durant on the roster, Oklahoma City won 47 games and made the playoffs. Freedom appeared in 72 regular season games for the team that season.
It’s great to see Freedom still appreciate Westbrook even though the two are no longer teammates.