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 (1.91 m)
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 career 2008–present
Career history
2008–present Oklahoma City Thunder
Career highlights and awards
Stats at NBA.com

Russell Westbrook Jr. (born November 12, 1988) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Westbrook played college basketball for UCLA and was selected with the fourth pick in the first round of the 2008 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics who then relocated to Oklahoma City six days after the draft. The point guard is a three-time NBA All-Star, and a three-time All-NBA Second Team member. He has also represented the United States on their national team twice, winning gold medals in the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Olympics.

Early years

Westbrook was born in Long Beach, California, to Russell Westbrook Sr. and Shannon Horton. Growing up in Hawthorne,[1][2][3] Westbrook was a childhood friend of Khelcey Barrs, a talented young player who had been attracting interest from major college basketball schools as a 6-foot-6, 200 pound high school sophomore. However, Barrs died from cardiomegaly after playing a series of late night basketball games in 2004.[4][5]

High school career

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

During his senior year, Westbrook averaged 25.1 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 2.3 assists and led them to a 25-4 record. That same season, he recorded 14 double-doubles, scored 30 or more points on eight separate occasions, and registered a career-best 51 points at Carson on January 6, 2006. Westbrook did not attract 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 career

Westbrook playing defense on USC's OJ Mayo

Westbrook wore number 0 throughout his career at UCLA. In his freshman year, he played as a back up to Darren Collison and was primarily used as a defender and energy player off the bench. Westbrook averaged 3.4 points, 0.8 rebounds and 0.7 assists on the year. The next season after Darren Collison was injured, he was named the starter and finished the season averaging 12.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.6 steals. At the end of the year, he was named All-Pac-10 Third Team and won Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year.

UCLA advanced to the Final Four during each of Westbrook's seasons with the team. In 2007, they lost to eventual national champion Florida, 76–66 and in 2008, they lost 78–63 to the University of Memphis. After two years at UCLA, he decided to forgo his final two years and enter the 2008 NBA draft.[8]

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%

NBA career

Oklahoma City Thunder (2008–present)

2008–09 season

Westbrook 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.[9]

On March 2, 2009 Westbrook recorded his first career triple double with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He was the first rookie since Chris Paul and the third rookie in Sonics/Thunder franchise history (Art Harris and Gary Payton) to record a triple-double.[10]

Westbrook averaged 15.3 points, 5.3 assists, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.3 steals on the season. He finished fourth in the 2008-09 NBA Rookie of the Year voting behind Rookie of the Year winner Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls), O. J. Mayo (Memphis Grizzlies) and Brook Lopez (New Jersey Nets).[11] He was named to the NBA's All-Rookie First Team.

2009–10 season

In his second year, and first season as a full-time starter, Westbrook went on to average 16.1 points, 8.0 assists, and 4.9 rebounds on the season. The Thunder made a huge turnaround by more than doubling their wins from the previous season and qualified for the playoffs with a 50–32 record. However, the Thunder were eliminated by the eventual world champion Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. In the series, Westbrook stepped up his play from the regular season, averaging 20.5 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3.2 steals.

2010–11 season

On November 26, 2010, Westbrook scored a then-career-high 43 points against the Indiana Pacers.[12] 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.

Westbrook was seleced by the NBA head coaches to be a Western Conference reserve for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game.[13] This was his first all-star appearance.

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. He was named to the All-NBA Second Team for his strong year. The Thunder finished the season at 55–27 and lost to the eventual world champion Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals. Throughout the playoffs, Westbrook averaged 23.8 points, 6.4 assists and 5.4 rebounds.

2011–12 season

Westbrook was again selected by the coaches to participate in the 2012 NBA All-Star Game. On March 23, 2012, he scored a career-high 45 points in a 149–140 double overtime win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. He averaged 23.2 points, 7.4 assists, 5.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals for the lockout-shortened season and was voted to the All-NBA Second Team for the second year in a row.

Westbrook helped lead the Thunder to the 2012 NBA Finals for the first time since the franchise relocated but OKC would lose in five games to the Miami Heat. In game 4 of the Finals, in a loss to Miami, Westbrook scored a playoff career high 43 points.[14]

2012–13 season

Westbrook was once again selected for the NBA All-Star Game. He finished the 2012–13 season averaging 23.2 points, 7.4 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game.[15] Westbrook helped lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to the playoffs and the #1 seed in the Western Conference. They would go on to face the 8th seed Houston Rockets in the first round.

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 the ball. Although Westbrook was clearly bothered by the injury, he would continue playing and finished the game with 29 points. It was then revealed the next day that he had suffered a slight tear in his right meniscus.[16] He had surgery on April 27, 2013, and was declared out for the rest of the playoffs.[17] Without Westbrook, the Thunder defeated the Rockets in 6 games but fell to the Memphis Grizzlies in 5 games in the next round. Westbrook was named to the All-NBA Second Team for the third consecutive year.

2013–14 season

Prior to the start of the 2013–14 season, Westbrook had a second surgery on his right knee, which set back his return to basketball.[18] Despite reports that he would miss the first two weeks of the regular season, Westbrook would miss only the first two games. On December 25, 2014, Westbrook recorded 14 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists as Oklahoma City beat the New York Knicks 123-94. This was just the eighth triple-double on Christmas Day in NBA history. The win was also the largest margin of victory in a Christmas Day game in NBA history.[19]

On the day after his monster Christmas-day game, it was announced that Westbrook would undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and would be out until after the All-Star break.[20] During this time, The Thunder were able to remain competitive despite his absence due mainly to Kevin Durant's stellar play. Westbrook returned to the lineup on February 20, 2014. He played the rest of the season on limited minutes and sat out the second night of back-to-backs.

On March 4, 2014, Westbrook recorded his second triple-double of the season. He recorded 13 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds, in just 20 minutes in a 125–92 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. This was the second fastest recorded triple-double in NBA history.[21]

Westbrook and the Thunder finished with a 59-23 record earning the #2 seed in the Western Conference. They advanced all the way to the Conference Finals where they faced the San Antonio Spurs. On May 27th, 2014, in a game 4 victory, Westbrook recorded 40 points, 5 rebounds, 10 assists and 5 steals. In doing so, he joined Michael Jordan as the only other player to post those numbers in a playoff game. The Thunder lost the series to the eventual NBA-champion Spurs in six games. Westbrook averaged 26.7 points, 8.1 assists, and 7.3 rebounds in the postseason, and became the first player since Oscar Robertson in 1964 to average at least 26 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds in the playoffs.

International career

In 2010, he took part in the FIBA World Championships held in Istanbul, Turkey where team USA won gold for the first time since 1994. Westbrook later played at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where he also won a gold medal.

Player profile

Westbrook is a point guard and has established himself as an elite athlete who attacks the basket relentlessly with an incredible ability to finish at the rim.[22] With his opponents' knowledge of Westbrook's will to attack the rim, he will frequently pull up for the medium range jump shot.[23][24] Westbrook creates good scoring opportunities for his teammates[25] resulting in him averaging 6.9 assists per game throughout his first five seasons. He is also one of the best rebounding guards in the league, averaging 4.8 rebounds throughout his first five seasons. Add to that, his willingness to defend the opposing team's best guard, Westbrook is widely recognized as one of the best all-around guards in the NBA. A minor weakness cited in Westbrook's game is his three-point shooting. He has averaged .302 on three-point field goal percentage for his first five seasons.[26]

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

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 46 46 30.7 .437 .318 .826 5.7 6.9 1.9 .2 21.8
Career 440 423 33.9 .433 .305 .815 4.9 6.9 1.6 .3 20.1
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
2014 Oklahoma City 19 19 38.7 .420 .280 .884 7.3 8.1 2.2 .3 26.7
Career 64 64 37.8 .421 .286 .851 6.0 6.7 1.8 .3 24.1

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 Second round, 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 5th player in NBA history with a triple double on Christmas
9 March 4, 2014 vs. Philadelphia 76ers W 125-92 13 10 14 3 2nd fastest triple double in NBA history (21 min)
10(PO) April 29, 2014 vs. Memphis Grizzlies L 99-100 30 10 13 1 1 block
11(PO) May 3, 2014 vs. Memphis Grizzlies W 120-109 27 10 16 2 First round, Game 7
12(PO) May 7, 2014 vs. Los Angeles Clippers W 112-101 31 10 10 3

Awards and honors

NBA

College

High school

  • First-team All-CIF Division I
  • Third-team All-State
  • 2x Most Valuable Player of the Bay League

Endorsements

In October 2012, Westbrook signed with the Jordan Brand.[29] His first commercial was with the Jordan Brand and Champs in which a high school athlete purchased Jordan gear from Champs and transformed into Westbrook and won a state championship.[30]

In November 2013, Westbrook signed with Kings and Jaxs Boxer Briefs. He 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."[31]

Westbrook has also appeared in numerous commercials for Subway.

Personal

Westbrook is a Christian.[32]

He has one younger brother, Raynard.[33]

Westbrook wears a "KB3" wristband and has "KB3" on his sneakers in honor of his childhood friend Khelcey Barrs. [34][5]

He is known for his outlandish style off the court and has even been called a "fashion icon".[35]

See also

References

  1. ^ "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 c 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. ^ "Russell Westbrook Draft 2008 Profile". NBA.com. November 12, 1988. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  9. ^ "Westbrook, White sign rookie deals with SuperSonics". ESPN. July 5, 2008. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  10. ^ "ESPN – Notes, Stats and Trends from Research March 3, 2009". Insider.espn.go.com. March 3, 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  11. ^ Bulls' Rose takes home Rookie of Year Award, NBA.com, April 22, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
  12. ^ "Oklahoma City Thunder at Indiana Pacers Box Score, November 26, 2010". Basketball-Reference.com. November 26, 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  13. ^ "Russell Westbrook selected to Western Conference All-Star team | Daily Thunder.com". dailythunder.com. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  14. ^ ESPN (2012). Heat overcome Russell Westbrook's 43 points, take 3-1 Finals lead. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  15. ^ "Russell Westbrook Career Stats". NBA.com. Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Thunder's Russell Westbrook out of playoff run indefinitely with knee injury, needs surgery". FOX News. April 26, 2013. 
  17. ^ Westbrook has knee surgery, will miss rest of season
  18. ^ 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. 
  19. ^ "Russell Westbrook's triple-double catapults Thunder". ESPN. December 25, 2013. Retrieved December 26, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Westbrook out through All-Star break". ESPN. December 27, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  21. ^ Notebook: Thunder 125, Sixers 92
  22. ^ Mason, Beckley (November 30, 2011). "Russell Westbrook’s next step: the Tony Parker cut «". Hoopspeak.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  23. ^ Tucker, Josh (January 11, 2012). "Russell Westbrook: Transition Jump Shots Key to Scoring Success". Welcome to Loud City. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  24. ^ 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. 
  25. ^ Kennedy, Andrew (January 29, 2012). "The Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook pick-and-roll « True Hoop Drew". Truehoopdrew.com. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  26. ^ "NBA". Tsn.ca. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  27. ^ Pac-12 Conference 2011, p. 125.
  28. ^ "Pac-12 Conference 2011–12 Men's Basketball Media Guide". Pac-12 Conference. 2011. p. 121. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  29. ^ Russell Westbrook officially signs with the Jordan Brand
  30. ^ Watch Russell Westbrook Live the Dream in New Commercial
  31. ^ Russell Westbook Is Now A Kings & Jaxs Underwear Model
  32. ^ "Russell Westbrook". 
  33. ^ "Raynard Westbrook". 
  34. ^ "Khelcey Barrs". 
  35. ^ "Russell Westbrook: Fashion Icon". CNN. 

External links