In the recent Sports Illustrated NBA Preview Issue, there is a feature article on the Thunder’s guard, Russell Westbrook. What follows are several Westbrook quotes. In the context of article, they are somewhat more impactful but alone, they require little explanation.
When asked why he never transferred to a more high-powered high school program, he said, “No, no, no. That school was where I’m from. It’s where my friends went. I was never going to leave. I was never going to be a follower.”
In his senior season as a high school player, when one player quit and two others were ruled academically ineligible, Westbrook said, “Forget ‘em. We’ll go with what we got. We’ll run with what we have. We’ll fight to the end.”
When his high school team lost in the state tournament, falling short of the title, he said in retrospect, “The moment, the process, the ups and downs, the bumps and bruises, are special to me. We didn’t win it all, but we became better, we became closer.”
When asked if the Clippers’ game on Nov. 2 will mean as much to him as the Warriors’ game on Nov. 3 or the Timberwolves’ game on Nov. 5, Westbrook said, “Who it is, what day, what time, pickup, not pickup, I only know how to play one way. There’s nothing extra. I don’t need it. I already have it. My duty is to give all I have. Other people have to think about competing. I don’t. Watch those games and tell me I don’t play the same way.”
When asked about his role this season without Kevin Durant and his new role, he said, “I have to do what’s best for the team. I have to gauge that. And as a leader, you have to gauge how you help other guys get better.”