Former champion dissects toxicity of Russell Westbrook, James Harden and other trophy-less NBA stars

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As professional athletes, titles are what every player competes for. Yet some sports memorabilia go far beyond trophies. Many NBA greats have yet to record a winning moment to date. Two of the biggest names on this list are Russell Westbrook and James Harden. Although they are now veterans of the league, they have failed to capture a ring.

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While Westbrook began his NBA career in 2008, Harden has been around since 2009. Initially, “the beard” kicked off his career with the Thunder, where Westbrook had his best days. However, Harden’s dominance was encapsulated in his run with the Houston Rockets. The duo have had successful careers, but never managed to win a trophy along the way. On the contrary, former NBA champion James Posey believes that it is not as necessary as it seems, for such players to add a title to make sense of their careers.

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Jul 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States; Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) celebrates with the Larry O’Brien Trophy after Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals and Championship against the Phoenix Suns at the Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

James Posey thinks Russell Westbrook, Harden, and others overemphasize rings

Posey, 44, is a former NBA player. He also worked as an assistant coach after his playing days. During his career, Posey won two trophies in the league, in 2006 and 2008. He had a largely successful career spanning more than a decade. Still, the two-time champion believes that the current generation of players define their success based on the rings they acquire.

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Speaking with BasketballNews.com about the toxicity of ring culture in basketball, the writer explained that the current generation only puts too much emphasis on titles. Instead, he thinks they should focus their attention on the full game; especially players like Harden and Westbrook who never got their hands on the title. “Somewhere along the way,” Posey opinion, “It seems an entire generation of basketball players have been made to believe their careers are meaningless without a championship.”

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Do you also believe in the existence of a poisonous ring culture among the present generation? Another question here is, does this only exist among today’s players? Nonetheless, it will be a huge box checked if any of the big boys without a trophy can acquire one in the coming season.



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