OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahomans on and off the court have been rooting Monday for Russell Westbrook, contending he is MVP no matter what.
"Killer mentality," said fan Bryan Zeigler. "He's good, explosive."
Basketball fan Patrick Berry said he's a leader in the community.
"Oklahoma City fans are very passionate, very outgoing and want to see something very special here," Berry said.
Lead coach at the Auri Allen Basketball Academy spends his time teaching and mentoring kids. He insists it's Westbrook's obvious passion that pushes him to the top.
"He’s electrifying," Allen said. "He’s the most outstanding player in the league."
Allen said he dominates the game and commands the ball, but it's the leadership role he took on the team that sets him apart.
"What Russell did with the cast that he has and the situation he came into this year with Kevin [Durant]’s departure, and the unknowing, the uncertainty with the future of the club and everything," Allen said, "for him to take that responsibility on, and lead the charge the way he did and more or less make other people more valuable, that’s the definition of the most valuable player in my opinion."
Allen said he's gotten to know Westbrook through mutual friends and he's good to his fans, taking pictures and shaking hands.
And, it's Westbrook's commitment to his game Allen wants his students to take home with them.
"He stayed true to it, he never deferred, he never went away from it, he never lost his identity," Allen said. "And, I try to teach the kids that. Stay true to you."
Allen can be reached for training and for the Academy at email@example.com.