The Historic Rise of OKC Thunder’s Russell Westbrook
A new era in basketball begins with Russ
Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder’s record-breaking point guard, is among the top contenders in this year’s MVP race. But regardless of who wins, Westbrook is arguably among the NBA’s greatest basketball players of all time. Here’s a look back at Russ’ historic rise.
Russell Westbrook played for the Bruins for two years before being drafted in the NBA in 2008 by Sam Presti under the then-Seattle SuperSonics. They would become the Oklahoma City Thunder six days later and a young Westbrook would have to move to a new city. But despite the many changes, Russ impressed and finished fourth in rookie of the year voting and was selected to the All-NBA First Rookie Team.
Second Season And Thereafter.
With Westbrook on board, the Thunders more than doubled their wins from his first year. They won 50 games and qualified for the 2010 playoffs with unforgettable match-ups to boot. By 2012, the Thunders had earned a spot among the best teams in the league and made it to the Finals.
During the NBA 2012-2013 season, Westbrook suffered a knee injury (torn menisucus) that knocked him out for the rest of the playoffs. He required another knee surgery just before the next season and was expected to sit out several more games. But Russ missed just two games and gave a stellar run before they lost to the San Antonio Spurs at the Western Conference Finals. But another injury—this time a broken bone in his hand—set him back and put him out of 14 games.
Shine Russ, Shine.
Westbrook wounds eventually healed, his teammates entered free agency while some got up and left. But little did we know, this would be the beginning of a new era in basketball as a tougher, record-breaking Westbrook emerged.
The Makings of a G.O.A.T
Since the start of the NBA 2016-2017 season, Russell Westbrook has been making headlines as the league’s ultimate triple-double machine. And just recently, he made history with his 42nd triple-double with an all-time high usage rate. Sure, 3-point shooting isn’t his strength; but as his usage goes up (from 41.7 to 62.3 percent), so does his efficiency with his true shooting percentage at 56.9 and his assists at 58.3.
And no matter the fate of his team at the playoffs, surely Russ will finish strong.
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