Russell Westbrook's season has been dogged by questions about what impact his ball-dominant play has on the rest of his team. His numbers and the triple-double average are undeniable, but the Thunder have often looked unprepared once Westbrook had to take a seat on the bench.

When a reporter thought to question the dynamic after the Thunder's Game Four loss to the Houston Rockets, Westbrook wasn't too pleased, as you can tell above.

For those of you who can't watch the video, here's a transcript:

Reporter: Steven, second time in three games you guys really struggled when Russell went to the bench, you were out there for part of that. What goes on when he goes to the bench, why is Houston so successful, and do you sense they sort of get an energy boost just from him going out of the game?

Westbrook: I don't want nobody to try to split us up, we all one team. Regardless if I go to the bench, if Steven's on the floor, if I'm off the floor, we in this together. Don't split us up, don't try to split us up, don't try to make us go against each other, try to make it Russell against the rest of the guys, Russell against Houston, I don't want to hear that. We in this together, we play as a team, and that's all that matters. That's it. 

Reporter: Russell, I'm not trying to split you up, but twice in three games you guys have not played well at all when you've gone to the bench, and I'm just trying to figure out what's going on.

Westbrook: That's fine, say 'Russell you haven't played well at all,' say, 'Russell and the team haven't played well,' don't say, 'When Russell goes out the team don't play well.' It don't matter, we in this together.

Reporter: That may be Russell, but I asked Steven a question, it's a legitimate question.

Westbrook: It's not between me and you, next question. Next question.

There are a couple ways of to interpret this response. On the one hand, Westbrook not wanting there to be a barrier between he and his boys is a good thing. Rather than pouting and blaming his team for falling off when he hits the bench, Westbrook spoke up and made it clear he doesn't want the play of his teammates to be judged apart from his own. If nothing else, it preserves the unity the Thunder already has.

But at the same time, Westbrook's defiant rant is sort of the trouble with the way this team operates. The question is very clearly directed at Steven Adams, yet Westbrook takes control and dismisses the reporter's question after he's done lecturing him. As he's trying to explain why he shouldn't be judged any differently than his teammates, Westbrook refuses to allow one of those teammates voice his own thoughts on the matter. Even if it's unlikely that Adams would have given anything other than a stock answer about everyone needing to pick it up, Westbrook only reinforces the idea that he can't relinquish control.

An alternative theory posed by ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz offers yet another wrinkle to the story:

There's a lot of truth to this. The guys doing battle alongside Westbrook won't see most of the follow-up reactions to Westbrook's rant, but they'll certainly be aware of their comrade going on a tirade about how he should be judged the same as they are. Fans don't need the media to relay a player or coach's words anymore, because they can view their thoughts directly through social media, video, and elsewhere. Whether the message is 100 percent authentic or not, Westbrook gets the point across to the people it matters to most: his teammates.

Regardless of the motivation behind his message, Westbrook once again found a way to be the biggest story of the game following a loss. You can argue over who should be the NBA's MVP, but there's little doubt over whose season will go down as the most memorable. 

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