|Westbrook with the Oklahoma City Thunder|
no. 0 - Oklahoma City Thunder
|Born||(1988-11-12) November 12, 1988 (age 24)
Long Beach, California
|Listed height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
187 lb (85 kg)
|NBA Draft||2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4th overall|
|Selected by the Seattle SuperSonics|
|Pro playing career||
|2008–present||Oklahoma City Thunder|
Stats at NBA.com
no. 0 - Oklahoma City Thunder
|Competitor for the United States|
|Gold||2012 London||Men's basketball|
|FIBA World Championship|
|Gold||2010 Turkey||Men's basketball|
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. He has the longest active streak of consecutive regular season games played in the NBA.
Westbrook was born in Long Beach, California, to parents Russell Westbrook and Shannon Horton. He has one younger brother, Raynard, and has said that he admires former Los Angeles Lakers great Earvin "Magic" Johnson. Growing up in Hawthorne, 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.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.
Oklahoma City Thunder (2008–present)
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. 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. On February 1, 2009, Westbrook scored 34 points in an overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings. He made 7 of 18 field goals and 20 of 22 free throws. His 20 free throws were the most by a Kings opponent since the franchise relocated to Sacramento, California. 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. He finished fourth in the 2008/09 NBA Rookie of the Year voting 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.
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.
On November 12, 2010, his 22nd birthday, Westbrook recorded 36 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists against the Portland Trail Blazers. Fourteen days afterward, on November 26, Westbrook scored 43 points, to go with 8 rebounds and 8 assists, against the Indiana Pacers. On November 26, 2010, Westbrook scored 43 points against the Indiana Pacers. Westbrook was chosen as a Western Conference reserve for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game.
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.
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.[ 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.
Westbrook finished the 2012–13 season averaging 23.2 points, 7.4 assists, and 5.2 rebounds per game. He finished in 6th place among scorers in the league, and 7th in assists. Westbrook had his best scoring game in March 1, 2013 when he scored 38 points in a loss against the Denver Nuggets. 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. Westbrook had surgery on April 27, 2013, and was declared out for the rest of the playoffs.