Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error He will carve up any defense that stands in his way, no matter how many people that represents.He will score at a prolific rate, leading many to admire his greatness while also questioning whether that disrupts team play.He will fulfill all these amazing feats with a scowl on his face.Sounds like another day for Kobe Bryant dominating on the basketball court. But the Lakers’ 36-year-old star has remained sidelined for the past two months with a season-ending right shoulder injury. Instead, another player with ties to Los Angeles has carried that identity. Westbrook has posted nine triple-doubles this season, including four in consecutive games, a feat second only to Michael Jordan with seven in 1988-89 and tying Magic Johnson’s feat from 1986-87. After winning this year’s All-Star MVP award, Westbrook averaged 34.3 points. 10.2 rebounds and 11.4 assists, a clip that only Jordan matched in the past 50 years. Westbrook also became the fourth player along with Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor to score at least 45 points with five rebounds and five assists in back-to-back contests.But all of those statistics do not capture the emotion Westbrook shows when he plays. He will bark at teammates. He will draw imaginary guns out of an imaginary holster after making a key basket. He will frown and scowl through the good and bad moments.“Russell is more animated than Kobe,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “But both of them play with the same type of passion. They both love what they do and they play like it’s their last game every single night. I respect that.” So does Bryant, who hardly sees any coincidence why Durant and Westbrook show some of his mannerisms. “They watched me growing up and saw how I dealt with criticism,” said Bryant, who played with Westbrook in NBA All-Star games (2011-13) and on the U.S. Olympic team (2012). “I just put my head down and kept playing. They’re cut from the same cloth.”Thunder coach Scott Brooks has seen up close how Bryant and Westbrook have matching patterns. Brooks coached the 2011 Western Conference All-Stars when Bryant played through a broken nose after Miami guard Dwyane Wade accidentally delivered a hard foul. Soon after the game ended, Brooks learned that Bryant actually suffered a mild concussion.This season, Westbrook needed surgery after teammate Andre Roberson accidentally kneed him strongly enough to form a dent in his right cheek. Westbrook missed only the Lakers’ loss to Oklahoma City three weeks ago, causing Brooks to jokingly describe Westbrook as “part machine.”Brooks then turned serious, explaining how Bryant and Westbrook “share that DNA” and “are not looking to make friends on the court.”“All the games he played up to the last couple of years, he played a lot of games most players would not have played,” Brooks said of Bryant before turning to Westbrook. “He brings effort every single night. I don’t think people criticize people that don’t do that every night enough. We skip that and say, ‘It’s part of the schedule’ or ‘they’re battling a sore back.’ “No, you have to come and play the game every single night. Russell does that every single night.” Instead, the criticism surrounding Westbrook shifts elsewhere. It involves his shot selection, which, incidentally, mirrors what followed Bryant for most of his 19-year NBA career. “There’s a balance,” Scott said. “I like him taking aggressive shots that are good shots. He knows the difference. Every great player will take some tough shots. And every great player has the ability to make tough shots.”Bryant would know, one of the many traits he and Westbrook share as they pursue greatness through their unyielding drive and personality. His name is Russell Westbrook, the former UCLA and Leuzinger High standout who will surely give the Lakers (18-50) headaches when they visit the Oklahoma Thunder (40-30) on Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.He may replicate his league-leading 27.5 points per game. He may leave the Lakers gasping for breath with his lightning-quick speed. And when Bryant presumably watches the game from his Newport Beach residence, Westbrook will remind the Lakers’ star of himself. “Russell is probably the closest one to me in terms of playing with a chip on your shoulder,” Bryant said earlier in the 2014-15 season. “It’s his intensity. He just plays with a rage that’s not very common. He just plays with a lot of aggression.”Bryant’s Hall of Fame credentials include his five NBA championships, his third-place standing on the league’s all-time scoring list and his career-high 81-point game. But Bryant’s lasting images also will include his clenched jaw, his furrowed eyebrows and his sharp tongue. Meanwhile, the 26-year-old Westbrook has helped the Thunder stay afloat in his seventh NBA season without a consistently healthy Kevin Durant (sore right foot).