Russell Westbrook

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Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook.jpg
Westbrook with the Oklahoma City Thunder in March 2011
No. 0 – Oklahoma City Thunder
Position Point guard
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1988-11-12) November 12, 1988 (age 25)
Long Beach, California
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Listed weight 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school Leuzinger (Lawndale, California)
College UCLA (20062008)
NBA draft 2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4th overall
Selected by the Seattle SuperSonics
Pro playing career 2008–present
Career history
2008–present Oklahoma City Thunder
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com

Russell Westbrook (born November 12, 1988) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The point guard is a three-time All-Star, and a three-time member of the All-NBA Second Team.

Westbrook played high school basketball for Leuzinger High School before playing two seasons of college basketball for the UCLA Bruins. He was selected in the first round of the 2008 NBA draft with the fourth overall pick by the Seattle SuperSonics, who relocated from Seattle to Oklahoma City six days after the draft. In his first season, Westbrook was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. Twice he has represented the United States on their national team, winning gold medals in the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Early years

Westbrook was born in Long Beach, California, to Russell Westbrook and Shannon Horton. He has one younger brother, Raynard, and has said that he admires former Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson.[1] Growing up in Hawthorne,[1][2][3] Westbrook was a childhood friend of Khelcey Barrs, a talented young small forward who had been attracting interest from major college basketball schools as a 6-foot-6, 200 pound high school sophomore. However, Barrs collapsed and died from cardiomegaly after playing a series of late night basketball games in 2004.[4][5]

High School

Westbrook entered Leuzinger High School as an unheralded 5-foot-8, 140-pound freshman point guard with size 14 shoes, not starting on the varsity team until his junior year.[5] He did not receive his first college recruiting letter until the summer before his senior year. Westbrook eventually reached his adult height at 6′3″ that same summer.[6][7]

He led the team to a 25–4 overall record and to a CIF-SS Div. I-AA quarterfinal playoff appearance during his senior year. He averaged 25.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 2.3 assists. He also connected on 57 three-pointers and made 76.0 percent of his free throws. He collected 14 double-doubles, scored 30 or more points on eight occasions and registered a career-best 51 points at Carson on January 6, 2006. He did not attract too much attention from top college basketball programs until Ben Howland offered him a scholarship to play for the UCLA Bruins after Jordan Farmar declared for the NBA Draft.

College

Westbrook and Kevin Love at UCLA, playing against USC's OJ Mayo

In his two years of playing for the UCLA Bruins, Westbrook wore number 0. In his freshman year Westbrook backed up Darren Collison and was primarily used as a defender and energy player off the bench due to his athleticism and lack of passing and shooting skills. In his freshman year Westbrook averaged 3.4 points, 0.8 rebounds and 0.7 assists in 36 games. After Darren Collison was injured, Westbrook's role on the team expanded. Westbrook saw his minutes increase significantly, and he finished the season playing in 39 games, starting in 34 of them. In the year Westbrook averaged 12.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.6 steals.

UCLA advanced to the Final Four during each of Westbrook's seasons with the team. In 2007, they lost to Florida, 76–66. In the game, Westbrook played 8 minutes, scoring two points. In 2008, they lost 78–63 to the University of Memphis, who were led by Derrick Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Joey Dorsey. In the game, Westbrook scored 22 points, to go along with 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.[8] At UCLA, Westbrook played basketball with several NBA players. In his sophomore year Westbrook was named All-Pac-10 Third Team and won Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year. At UCLA, Westbrook played with Kevin Love, who was also his roommate, as well as Darren Collison, Arron Afflalo and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. After two years at UCLA, Westbrook decided to enter his name in the 2008 NBA draft.

College Year GP GS SPG BPG RPG APG PPG FG% FT% 3P%
UCLA 2006–07 36 1 0.4 0.02 0.8 0.7 3.4 .457% .548% .409%
UCLA 2007–08 39 34 1.6 0.2 3.9 4.3 12.7 .465% .713% .338%

[9]

NBA career

Oklahoma City Thunder (2008–present)

2008–09 season

Westbrook vs. Celtics

He was selected 4th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics (later known as the Oklahoma City Thunder due to sale of team and relocation). He signed with the team on July 5, 2008 along with D. J. White.[10] He played with fellow Bruin Earl Watson on the Thunder team.

Westbrook was named the Western Conference Rookie of the month for December and February. In December, Westbrook averaged 15.5 points, 5.1 assists, and 5.1 rebounds. In February, Westbrook averaged 20.6 points, 5.9 assists, and 6.1 rebounds.[11] On February 1, 2009, Westbrook scored 34 points in an overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings.[12] He made 7 of 18 field goals and 20 of 22 free throws.[13] His 20 free throws were the most by a Kings opponent since the franchise relocated to Sacramento, California.[14] He was also a candidate for the 2009 Slam Dunk Contest but lost in fan voting to Rudy Fernandez of the Portland Trail Blazers.

On March 2, 2009 Westbrook recorded a triple double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He was the first rookie to do so since Chris Paul in the 2005–06 season, and the third rookie player in Sonics/Thunder franchise history: Art Harris 1968–69 and Gary Payton in 1990–91.[15] He finished fourth in the 2008/09 NBA Rookie of the Year voting[16] behind Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), O. J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies) and Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets). Westbrook was named to the NBA's all-rookie first team, along with fellow UCLA classmate Kevin Love, who was named to the second team.

2009–10 season

In his second year the Thunder made a huge turnaround from their first season, qualifying for the playoffs with a 50–32 record. During the season Westbrook averaged 16.1 points, 8.0 assists, and 4.9 rebounds. Westbrook became a significantly better passer; his improvement in the passing department was instrumental in the Thunder's turnaround. The Thunder were eliminated by the eventual world champion Los Angeles Lakers. In the series Westbrook stepped up his play, averaging 20.5 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists and 3.2 steals

2010–11 season

Westbrook being treated by trainers

On November 26, 2010, Westbrook scored 43 points against the Indiana Pacers.[17] Westbrook was chosen as a Western Conference reserve for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game.[18]

On December 1, 2010, he scored 38 points with 9 assists and achieved a new career-high of 15 rebounds in a triple-overtime win over the New Jersey Nets, a game played without Thunder co-star Kevin Durant due to injury trouble.

Westbrook finished the season improving in just about every statistical category, averaging 21.9 points, 8.3 assists, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.9 steals. Westbrook was named to the All-NBA Second Team for his strong year. The Thunder finished the season at 55–27, eventually losing to the eventual world champion Dallas Mavericks. Throughout the playoffs, Westbrook averaged 23.8 points, 6.4 assists and 5.4 rebounds.

2011–12 season

On January 19, 2012 Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder agreed to a 5 year, $80 million extension. On February 19, 2012, he scored 40 points in a win over the Denver Nuggets.[19] On March 23, 2012, Westbrook scored a career-high 45 points in a double overtime win over the Minnesota Timberwolves 149–140. Westbrook was again voted to the All-NBA Second Team and was selected to the 2012 NBA All-Star Game.

The Thunder reached the 2012 NBA Finals, but lost in five games to the Miami Heat. In Game 4 of the finals Westbrook scored a playoff career high 43 points while shooting 20/32 from the field in a loss.[20]

2012–13 season

Westbrook was selected for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game. He finished the 2012–13 season averaging 23.2 points, 7.4 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game.[21] He finished in 6th place among scorers in the league, and 7th in assists. Westbrook had his best scoring game on March 1, 2013 when he scored 38 points in a loss against the Denver Nuggets.[22] Westbrook helped his team into the playoffs, clinching the #1 spot in the Western Conference.

During the first round of the playoffs, Westbrook and the Thunder faced the Houston Rockets. On April 25, 2013, in the second game of the series, Westbrook injured his right knee when Rockets guard Patrick Beverley collided with him in an attempt to steal. Although Westbrook began to limp, he would continue playing, and finished the game with 29 points. However, it was revealed the next day that Westbrook had suffered a slight tear in his right meniscus.[23][24] Westbrook had surgery on April 27, 2013, and was declared out for the rest of the playoffs.[25] Without Westbrook, the Thunder defeated the Rockets in 6 games, but fell to the Memphis Grizzlies in 5 games in the next round.

2013–14 season

Before the start of the 2013–14 season, Westbrook had a second surgery on his right knee, which set back his return to basketball.[26] Despite reports that he would miss 2 weeks of the regular season, Westbrook would go on to miss only the first two games of the season. On December 25, Westbrook recorded the eighth triple-double on Christmas Day in NBA history. He recorded 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in 29 minutes in a 123-94 road victory over the New York Knicks. The win was also the largest margin of victory in a Christmas Day game in NBA history.[27]

On December 27, Westbrook had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, and is expected to be out through the All-Star break.[28] The Thunder were able to remain quite competitive despite his absence due to injury.

On March 4, 2014, Westbrook recorded his second triple-double this season and the eighth of his career, with this one being the fastest triple-double in the NBA in almost 60 years. In playing just 20 minutes, he recorded 13 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds, along with 3 steals, in a 125–92 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.[29]

International career

Senior national team

Westbrook is defended by Derrick Rose in a Team USA scrimmage

In 2010 he took part in the FIBA World Championships held in Istanbul, Turkey. He played a pivotal role off the bench with his hustle and energy. USA won gold for the first time since 1994.

Westbrook later played at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where he won a gold medal.

Personal

Westbrook is a Christian.[30][31][32]

In a July 2008 article, the Daily Oklahoman reported that when he was asked about his relationship with Brian Westbrook, Russell Westbrook responded that they were not related.[33]

Westbrook is known for wearing red lensless glasses off the court.[34][35][36] In a comedic 2012 ESPN commercial Westbrook switches glasses with Jeff Van Gundy and ends up driving through a cornfield.[37][38] He has been called a "fashion icon".[39]

Endorsements

In October 2012, Westbrook signed with the Jordan Brand.[40] In a commercial released after Westbrook's season ending knee injury during the 2013 NBA playoffs, the Jordan Brand and Champs featured Westbrook in a new commercial which depicted a high school athlete purchasing Jordan gear from Champs and transforming into Westbrook on and off the court and winning a state championship. The commercial was shot before Westbrook's injury but Jordan and Champs went through with the ad anyway.[41]

In November 2013, Westbrook signed with Kings and Jaxs Boxer Briefs. Westbrook stated that, "I have always loved fashion so working with Kings & Jaxs was a natural fit as we both have a fearless and creative approach to style."[42]

Player profile

Westbrook is a point guard. Westbrook has established himself as an elite athlete who constantly attacks the basket.[43] When attacking the basket, Westbrook is also known for being able to pull up for the medium range jump shot or pass it out to an open teammate.[44][45] Westbrook is capable of initiating the pick and roll,[46] averaging 6.9 assists per game throughout his first five seasons. At 6 feet 3 inches, Westbrook is an above average rebounder, averaging 4.8 rebounds throughout his first five seasons. Westbrook is constantly able to get to the free throw line, contributing to the average of 19.9 points per game throughout his first five seasons.[47] A minor weakness cited in Westbrook's ability is his three-point percentage; he has averaged .302 on three-point field goal percentage for his first five seasons.[48]

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Correct as of December 31, 2013

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2008–09 Oklahoma City 82 65 32.5 .398 .271 .815 4.9 5.3 1.3 .2 15.3
2009–10 Oklahoma City 82 82 34.3 .418 .221 .780 4.9 8.0 1.3 .4 16.1
2010–11 Oklahoma City 82 82 34.7 .442 .330 .842 4.6 8.2 1.9 .4 21.9
2011–12 Oklahoma City 66 66 35.3 .457 .316 .823 4.6 5.5 1.7 .3 23.6
2012–13 Oklahoma City 82 82 34.9 .438 .323 .800 5.2 7.4 1.8 .3 23.2
2013–14 Oklahoma City 37 37 30.7 .432 .347 .811 5.7 7.0 1.9 .1 21.2
Career 394 377 34.3 .432 .302 .814 4.9 6.9 1.6 .3 20.0
All-Star 3 0 20.0 .548 .125 .000 4.7 2.3 1.0 .0 15.7

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2010 Oklahoma City 6 6 35.3 .473 .417 .842 6.0 6.0 1.7 .2 20.5
2011 Oklahoma City 17 17 37.5 .394 .292 .852 5.4 6.4 1.4 .4 23.8
2012 Oklahoma City 20 20 38.4 .435 .277 .802 5.5 5.8 1.6 .4 23.1
2013 Oklahoma City 2 2 34.0 .415 .222 .857 6.5 7.0 3.0 .0 24.0
Career 45 45 37.4 .422 .291 .833 5.5 6.1 1.6 .3 23.0

Triple-doubles

Number Date Opponent Box Score Points Rebounds Assists Steals Notes
1 March 2, 2009 vs. Dallas Mavericks W 96–87 17 10 10 2 1 block
2 February 21, 2010 at Minnesota Timberwolves W 109–107 22 10 14 2
3 December 31, 2010 vs. Atlanta Hawks W 103–94 23 10 10 2
4 January 13, 2011 vs. Orlando Magic W 125–124 32 10 13 1 2 blocks
5 January 28, 2011 vs. Washington Wizards W 124–117 35 13 13 1 2 blocks
6 (PO) May 15, 2011 vs. Memphis Grizzlies W 105–90 14 10 14 0 Quarterfinals, Game 7
7 March 30, 2013 vs. Milwaukee Bucks W 109-99 23 13 10 3 1 block
8 December 25, 2013 vs. New York Knicks W 123-94 14 13 10 1 1 block, 5th Christmas Day player
9 March 4, 2014 vs. Philadelphia 76ers W 125-92 13 10 14 3 Recorded triple-double in 21 minutes of play; 2nd fastest in NBA history

Awards and recognition

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "UCLA player bio". Uclabruins.cstv.com. January 20, 2007. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  2. ^ Tramel, Berry (March 14, 2013). "Russell Westbrook needs to take over". The Oklahoman. Archived from the original on March 14, 2013. 
  3. ^ Guardabascio, Mike (July 23, 2012). "Russell Westbrook’s Story Is Quintessential Long Beach". gazettes.com. Archived from the original on March 14, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Leuzinger Hoops Star Collapses, Dies". Long Beach Press-Telegram. May 13, 2004. 
  5. ^ a b Markazi, Arash (April 30, 2010). "Westbrook: The honor guard: The young, dashing Oklahoma City point man plays in memory of a fallen friend". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2012-11-01. 
  6. ^ "Boys' basketball: Leuzinger is school of late bloomers". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. July 23, 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  7. ^ "Russell Westbrook". Facebook. November 12, 1988. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  8. ^ "UCLA Bruins vs. Memphis Tigers — NCAA Tournament Game — Recap". ESPN. April 5, 2008. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  9. ^ "Russell Westbrook Draft 2008 Profile". NBA.com. November 12, 1988. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  10. ^ "Westbrook, White sign rookie deals with SuperSonics". ESPN. July 5, 2008. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  11. ^ http://www.nba.com/2009/news/03/02/rookies.month/index.html | Rookie of the Month Feb 9
  12. ^ "Veteran Jackson carries Kings in overtime to beat lowly Thunder". Sports.espn.go.com. February 1, 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  13. ^ "Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Sacramento Kings – Box Score – February 01, 2009 – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. February 1, 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  14. ^ "Russell Westbrook Info Page". NBA.com. November 12, 1988. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  15. ^ "ESPN – Notes, Stats and Trends from Research March 3, 2009". Insider.espn.go.com. March 3, 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  16. ^ Bulls' Rose takes home Rookie of Year Award, NBA.com, April 22, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
  17. ^ "Oklahoma City Thunder at Indiana Pacers Box Score, November 26, 2010". Basketball-Reference.com. November 26, 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  18. ^ "Russell Westbrook selected to Western Conference All-Star team | Daily Thunder.com". dailythunder.com. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  19. ^ Associated Press Text size A A A (February 19, 2012). "Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook combine for 91 points in Oklahoma Thunder OT win". Aol.sportingnews.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  20. ^ ESPN (2012). Heat overcome Russell Westbrook's 43 points, take 3-1 Finals lead. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  21. ^ "Russell Westbrook Career Stats". NBA.com. Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  22. ^ Stapleton, Arnie (March 2, 2013). "Lawson's jumper lifts Nuggets over Thunder 105-103". Yahoo! Sports. 
  23. ^ "Thunder's Russell Westbrook out of playoff run indefinitely with knee injury, needs surgery". FOX News. April 26, 2013. 
  24. ^ Wojnarowski, Adrian (April 26, 2013). Yahoo! Sports http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba--thunder-guard-russell-westbrook-to-have-knee-surgery--return-this-season-uncertain-173113321.html |url= missing title (help). 
  25. ^ Westbrook has knee surgery, will miss rest of season
  26. ^ Golliver, Ben (October 1, 2013). "Thunder’s Russell Westbrook out first 4-6 weeks of season after second knee surgery". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved October 2, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Russell Westbrook's triple-double catapults Thunder". ESPN. December 25, 2013. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Westbrook out through All-Star break". ESPN. December 27, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  29. ^ Notebook: Thunder 125, Sixers 92
  30. ^ "Russell Westbrook". 
  31. ^ "Russell Westbrook". 
  32. ^ "Russell Westbrook". 
  33. ^ "Orlando Summer Pro League notebook: Rookies struggle at the line," Daily Oklahoman, July 12, 2008. (subscription required)
  34. ^ Cacciola, Scott (June 14, 2012). "NBA Finals: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Other Fashion Plates of the NBA Make Specs of Themselves - WSJ.com". Online.wsj.com. Retrieved 2012-06-26. 
  35. ^ Spousta, Tom (2012-06-14). "N.B.A. Finals — Russell Westbrook’s Nerd Glasses". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  36. ^ Golliver, Ben (June 13, 2012). "Russell Westbrook claims he started 'nerd glasses' trend; LeBron James disagrees". CBSSports.com. Retrieved 2012-06-26. 
  37. ^ Katz, Michael (October 22, 2012). "Russell Westbrook, Jeff Van Gundy swap glasses". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-05-03. 
  38. ^ "NBA on ESPN - Russell Westbrook Swaps Glasses". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-10-30. 
  39. ^ "Russell Westbrook: Fashion Icon". CNN. 
  40. ^ Russell Westbrook officially signs with the Jordan Brand
  41. ^ Watch Russell Westbrook Live the Dream in New Commercial
  42. ^ Russell Westbook Is Now A Kings & Jaxs Underwear Model
  43. ^ Mason, Beckley (November 30, 2011). "Russell Westbrook’s next step: the Tony Parker cut «". Hoopspeak.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  44. ^ Tucker, Josh (January 11, 2012). "Russell Westbrook: Transition Jump Shots Key to Scoring Success". Welcome to Loud City. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  45. ^ Prada, Mike (April 6, 2012). "Fun With Synergy: Russell Westbrook, Pull-Up Jumpers And Kevin Durant's Shot Distribution Wisdom". SBNation.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  46. ^ Kennedy, Andrew (January 29, 2012). "The Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook pick-and-roll « True Hoop Drew". Truehoopdrew.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  47. ^ "Russell Westbrook Career Stats Page". NBA.com. November 12, 1988. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  48. ^ "NBA". Tsn.ca. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  49. ^ "Pac-12 Conference 2011–12 Men's Basketball Media Guide". Pac-12 Conference. 2011. p. 121. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  50. ^ Pac-12 Conference 2011, p. 125.

External links