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Russell Westbrook named to NBA's 75th anniversary team, cites Ephesians 3:20: 'God is able!'

As the NBA opened up its 75th anniversary season this week, the league revealed its 75th anniversary team — the 75 greatest players in NBA history.

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The squad was selected by a panel of current and former NBA players, coaches, general managers and team and league executives, WNBA legends and sportswriters and broadcasters. The voters were asked to choose the 75 best NBA players in history, regardless of position. There was a tie in the voting, so the team actually features 76 players.

Many of the selections were obvious — Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant — while others left plenty of room for debate. As for active players, the Los Angeles Lakers boast four: James, Anthony Davis, Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook.

Westbrook, the NBA’s all-time leader in triple-doubles, expressed his gratitude to God for the honor in an Instagram post on Friday, in which he paraphrased Ephesians 3:20-21.

“Ephesians 3:20… ‘god is able! To do immeasurably more than all you could ever ask, imagine or dream, according to HIS power at work in you. To him be be glory,'” Westbrook wrote. “God is able! So why not??? I might not be perfect, but God is! I might not be able, but God is! And I’m with Him! So why not dream? He’s able! Why not imagine? HE IS ABLE! If God is able, WHY NOT???”

 

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A nine-time All-Star and nine-time All-NBA selection, Westbrook is in his first season with the Lakers. He was the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics, who became the Oklahoma City Thunder shortly after that draft. Westbrook starred for 11 seasons in Oklahoma City, becoming the NBA scoring champion in 2014-15 and 2016-17, and the NBA MVP in 2017.

After being named the MVP in June 2017, Westbrook began his speech by expressing his thanks to God.

“First and foremost, thank you to the Man Above,” Westbrook said. “Without His blessing, without His honor, I wouldn’t be standing here today. So I thank Him. I am very, very blessed to be in the position I am today.”

He also brought his teammates up on stage with him to thank them, and was overcome with emotion as he thanked his parents that night.

In July 2019, Westbrook was traded from OKC to the Houston Rockets, and in December 2020 he was traded from Houston to the Washington Wizards. Then in August 2021, he was a part of a five-team trade that sent him to Los Angeles, the city in which he was born, raised and went to college at UCLA.

The Lakers lost their 2021-22 season-opener on Tuesday to the Golden State Warriors, 121-114, in which Westbrook scored only eight points. They take the court again Friday night, hosting the defending Western Conference-champion Phoenix Suns.

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