Both are in different phases of their respective careers.
One is getting older and trying to find ways to win a title, but stuck on a mediocre franchise.
The other is a young, bright star playing for a winning team with a chance of winning it all.
However, when you look at the two of them closely, you can see similarities.
Sometimes on the surface, we see two players who are nothing alike.
But when we take a microscopic look into them, we see how they are compatible.
Are they different from one another?
Are they more alike than what we see?
How Are They Different?
Simmons’ best trait in the NBA as of right now is definitely his defense.
Shake Milton on Ben Simmons' defense this season:
"We look to him to lock up the best player on the other team.
What he brings to this team – you can't even put it into words."
— Lauren Rosen (@LaurenMRosen) June 10, 2021
The young star finished second in the Defensive Player of the Year race this season.
Westbrook has never been that great of a defender.
Granted his rebounding numbers are huge, and his steals numbers look good in some years.
He is not a defender like Simmons.
Westbrook tends to gamble too much and not stay in front of the person he is guarding that well.
Simmons is an elite defensive player at his young age.
Westbrook was never regarded as an elite defender.
Furthermore, the biggest difference between the two is their heart and hustle.
We know Westbrook as the guy who will give it his all in every game.
Simmons has a tendency of floating in games.
The media, and even Philadelphia 76ers fans, have criticized Simmons for not working hard.
There have been games where he doesn’t seem engaged at all.
For Westbrook, the opposite tends the opposite.
He has his foot on the pedal as soon as the game starts.
The problem can be when the game needs to slow down, but Westbrook is still in full throttle.
Both of them need to find a middle ground, but are on different ends of the spectrum.
Those are the differences of the two, but there are similarities as well.
What Are Their Similarities?
Simmons and Westbrook are both incredible in the fast-break.
Their transition game is at the top of the league.
It is done in different ways, but both are scary with the ball in their hands and running down in a full sprint.
Both of them have very good court vision as well.
Westbrook led the league in assists this past season, while Simmons was fifth.
Also, they are both capable of getting a triple-double every night.
Westbrook has averaged a triple-double for a whole season multiple times, whereas Simmons is close to one almost every game.
What a season for Russell Westbrook 🗣
💥 Most triple-doubles in NBA history
💥 1 of 4 players in NBA history with 20K pts & 8K ast
💥 Fourth season averaging a triple-double
💥 Helped lead the Wizards to the playoffs after having been 15 games under .500 at one point pic.twitter.com/gS6hOPlK4u
— ESPN (@espn) June 3, 2021
They are both intimidating and aggressive players in some degree.
It is different in how they do it and when they do it.
Simmons is a force on the defensive end, while Westbrook is just all over the place.
There are the differences, but there is a similarity in how they play.
Players respect both of them for what they do.
Simmons can learn from Westbrook and vice versa.