Detroit Pistons: What Jaden Ivey can learn from Russell Westbrook
#2: Take care of yourself
Another thing Jaden Ivey can learn from Russell Westbrook is the importance of taking care of your body.
Westbrook and Ivey are both naturally gifted athletes, but so is every guy in the NBA. That’s why the old cliche “availability is the best ability” matters.
Westbrook has played in 80 games or more six times in his career and really only missed significant time once in his 14 year career, including last season when he played 78 games at 33-years-old.
This isn’t an accident, as Westbrook takes care of himself and puts in the work in the offseason to ensure that he will always be on the court.
Fans were calling him “Westbrick” all season and I agree that his shot selection and 3-point shooting leave plenty to be desired, but he was out there nearly every game, busting his butt while LeBron James and Anthony Davis were sitting on the bench in street clothes.
That’s not a shot at LeBron, as he has been an Iron Man in his career too and is 37-years-old (it absolutely was a shot at Davis).
Lakers’ fans may not have always liked the results, and Westbrook was made one of the scapegoats for LA’s failure, but he was out there night after night, and that’s because he looks after himself and stays at the peak of physical fitness.
Injuries happen, and there is often nothing the player can do about it, but you can take precautionary measures to reduce that risk by putting in the work in the offseason, which Westbrook does.