Who is the fastest player in the NBA? Some would suggest Miami Heat star LeBron James, some say San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker, and some say — when he’s healthy — Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose. All three are fast for sure, but no one will be upset if we give the title of “Fastest Player in the NBA” to Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook.
Want proof? How about the end-to-end speed he flashed in the first round of the playoffs against the Houston Rockets. Twice!
At the start of the game, Westbrook grabbed a rebound at the 11:21 mark and took off like a world-class sprinter. By the time he got to the rim on the other end for a layup the time on the game clock showed 11:17. If you do the math, that’s four seconds.
For an encore Westbrook pulled off another four-second layup in the third quarter. With 5.6 seconds and the Thunder leading the Rockets by double digits, Westbrook took an inbound pass from Kevin Durant near the free throw line and three quick dribbles later he was at the rim for a layup, blowing past Patrick Beverley in the backcourt and juking Chandler Parsons in the frontcourt. It took Westbrook a mind-boggling four seconds to score the buzzer beater. And he made it look easy.
Westbrook is without a doubt one of the best athletes in the world, and Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley says he could probably play in the NFL if he wanted to or compete in the Olympics in track and field. Mike D’Antoni authored a book “Seven Seconds or Less” when he was the coach of the Phoenix Suns. Imagine Westbrook in D’Antoni’s offense in Phoenix? D’Antoni would have had to change the title to “Four Seconds or Less.”
Watch Westbrook fly down the court in this highlight video: