Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) guards the ball from Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) in the first quarter at Toyota Center. Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Ja Morant was a big fan of Russell Westbrook growing up and is still defending his childhood favorite despite competing against him now.

Morant spoke about Westbrook ahead of Wednesday night’s game between his Memphis Grizzlies and the Houston Rockets and praised Westbrook.

“I still feel like he’s highly disrespected,” Morant told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “People take his play for granted. I mean, he averaged a triple-double for the last three or four years and I’m pretty sure they see what he’s doing this year, but it’s still the same thing. I just love that he still just goes out and plays and handles his business and doesn’t worry about it.”

Westbrook, in typical fashion, said he didn’t care what anybody thought about his game, but appreciates the support from Morant.

The Rockets continued their hot ways and won their fifth straight game, blasting Memphis 140-112. Westbrook had 33 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and four steals in 34 minutes. He’s averaging 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game this season. More importantly, he hasn’t attempted more than four threes in a game in over a month. His 3-point shooting has long been a weakness in his game, and opponents often welcomed him to shoot more of them.

But is he disrespected? He has his fans and plenty of detractors. He won an NBA MVP award, so he definitely has earned a lot of respect and recognition.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.


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2019 / 60 / HOU / #13
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2019 / 60 / POR / #0
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2019 / 61 / HOU / #13
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2019 / 61 / HOU / #13
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2018 / 60 / CHA / #15
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2018 / 60 / HOU / #13
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2016 / 60 / GSW / #11
Klay Thompson
2016 / 60 / LAL / #24
Kobe Bryant
2014 / 61 / MIA / #6
LeBron James
2014 / 62 / NYK / #7
Carmelo Anthony
2009 / 61 / LAL / #24
Kobe Bryant
2007 / 60 / LAL / #24
Kobe Bryant
2007 / 65 / LAL / #24
Kobe Bryant
2006 / 60 / WAS / #0
Gilbert Arenas
2006 / 81 / LAL / #8
Kobe Bryant
2005 / 62 / LAL / #8
Kobe Bryant
2005 / 60 / PHI / #3
Allen Iverson
2004 / 62 / ORL / #1
Tracy McGrady
2000 / 61 / LAL / #34
Shaquille O'Neal
1994 / 71 / SA / #50
David Robinson
1993 / 64 / CHI / #23
Michael Jordan
1990 / 69 / CHI / #23
Michael Jordan
1990 / 60 / PHX / #24
Tom Chambers
1990 / 61 / UTAH / #32
Karl Malone
1987 / 61 / CHI / #23
Michael Jordan
1987 / 61 / CHI / #23
Michael Jordan
1985 / 60 / BOS / #33
Larry Bird
1984 / 60 / NYK / #30
Bernard King
1978 / 73 / DEN / #33
David Thompson
1978 / 63 / SA / #44
George Gervin
1977 / 68 / NOJ / #7
Pete Maravich
1974 / 64 / GSW / #24
Rick Barry
1962 / 63 / LAL / #44
Jerry West
1961 / 63 / LAL / #22
Elgin Baylor
1960 / 71 / LAL / #22
Elgin Baylor
1959 / 64 / MNL / #22
Elgin Baylor
1952 / 61 / MNL / #99
George Mikan
1949 / 63 / PHW / #10
Joe Fulks

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