Russell Westbrook

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Russell Westbrook

Westbrook with the Thunder
No. 0 – Oklahoma City Thunder
Personal information
Born(1988-11-12) November 12, 1988 (age 23)
Long Beach, California, United States
High schoolLeuzinger
Listed height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight187 lb (85 kg)
Career information
CollegeUCLA (20062008)
NBA Draft2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4th overall
Selected by the Seattle SuperSonics
Pro career2008–present
Career history
2008–presentOklahoma City Thunder
Career highlights and awards
Stats at
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Russell Westbrook

Westbrook with the Thunder
No. 0 – Oklahoma City Thunder
Personal information
Born(1988-11-12) November 12, 1988 (age 23)
Long Beach, California, United States
High schoolLeuzinger
Listed height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight187 lb (85 kg)
Career information
CollegeUCLA (20062008)
NBA Draft2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4th overall
Selected by the Seattle SuperSonics
Pro career2008–present
Career history
2008–presentOklahoma City Thunder
Career highlights and awards
Stats at

Russell Westbrook (born November 12, 1988) is an American professional basketball player currently playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder of the NBA. Westbrook played high school basketball for Leuzinger High School, then played two years in college at UCLA before declaring for the 2008 NBA Draft. He was drafted by the Thunder's former incarnation, the Seattle SuperSonics, which relocated from Seattle to Oklahoma City six days after the draft. So far in his career, Westbrook has been a two-time All-Star, a two-time member of the All-NBA Second Team, and a member of the NBA All-Rookie First Team. Westbrook represented the United States in the 2010 FIBA World Championships in Turkey, where he won a gold medal. He also won a gold medal with the national team at the 2012 Summer Olympics.


Early years

Westbrook was born in Long Beach, California to parents Russell and Shannon Horton. He has one younger brother, Raynard, and has said that he admires former Los Angeles Lakers great Earvin "Magic" Johnson.[1] Growing up in Lawndale, 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.[2]

Westbrook entered Leuzinger High School as an unheralded 5-foot-8, 140-pound freshman with size 14 shoes, not starting on the varsity team until his junior year.[3] 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.[4][5]

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.


Russell Westbrook at UCLA

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. The team advanced to the Final Four each year, losing to Florida in 2007, 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.[6] 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.



NBA career

Oklahoma City Thunder (2008–present)

2008–09 season

Russell 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.[8] 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.[9] On February 1, 2009, Westbrook scored 34 points in an overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings.[10] He made 7 of 18 field goals and 20 of 22 free throws.[11] His 20 free throws were the most by a Kings opponent since the franchise relocated to Sacramento, California.[12] 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.[13] He finished fourth in the 2008/09 NBA Rookie of the Year voting[14] 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.

2010–11 season

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.

Russell Westbrook being treated by trainers

On November 26, 2010, Westbrook scored 43 points against the Indiana Pacers.[15] Westbrook was chosen as a Western Conference reserve for the 2011 NBA All-Star Game.[16]

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.[17] 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.[18]

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.


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.[19]

Westbrook is known for wearing red lensless glasses off the court.[20][21][22]

Player profile

Westbrook is a point guard. Westbrook has established himself as an elite athlete who constantly attacks the basket.[23] 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.[24][25] Westbrook is capable of initiating the pick and roll, averaging 6.8 assists per game throughout his first four seasons.[26] At 6 feet 3 inches, Westbrook is an above average rebounder, averaging 4.7 rebounds throughout his first four seasons. Westbrook is constantly able to get to the free throw line, contributing to the average of 19.0 points per game throughout his first four seasons.[27] A minor weakness cited in Westbrook's ability is his three-point percentage; he has averaged .289 on three-point field goal percentage for his first four seasons.[28]

NBA career statistics

  GPGames 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

2008–09Oklahoma City826532.5.398.271.8154.
2009–10Oklahoma City828234.3.418.221.7804.
2010–11Oklahoma City828234.7.442.330.8424.
2011–12Oklahoma City666635.3.457.316.8234.


2010Oklahoma City6635.3.473.417.8426.
2011Oklahoma City171737.5.394.292.8525.
2012Oklahoma City202038.4.435.277.8025.


NumberDateOpponentBox ScorePointsReboundsAssistsStealsNotes
102009-03-02March 2, 2009vs. Dallas MavericksW 97–8617101021 block
202010-02-21February 21, 2010at Minnesota TimberwolvesW 109–1072210142
302010-12-31December 31, 2010vs. Atlanta HawksW 103–942310102
402011-01-13January 13, 2011vs. Orlando MagicW 125–12432101312 blocks
502011-01-28January 28, 2011vs. Washington WizardsW 124–11735131312 blocks
6 (PO)02011-05-15May 15, 2011vs. Memphis GrizzliesW 105–901410140Semifinals, Game 7

Awards and recognition

See also


  1. ^ "UCLA player bio". January 20, 2007. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  2. ^ "Leuzinger Hoops Star Collapses, Dies". Long Beach Press-Telegram. May 13, 2004. 
  3. ^ Arash MarkaziESPNLosAngeles.comFollowArchive (April 30, 2010). "2010 NBA Playoffs: Arash Markazi: Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook — ESPN Los Angeles". Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  4. ^ July 23, 2009  (July 23, 2009). "Boys' basketball: Leuzinger is school of late bloomers —". Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  5. ^ Russell WestbrookOver FacebookTijdlijnOver Facebook (November 12, 1988). "Russell Westbrook". Facebook. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  6. ^ "UCLA Bruins vs. Memphis Tigers — NCAA Tournament Game — Recap". ESPN. April 5, 2008. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  7. ^ "Russell Westbrook Draft 2008 Profile". November 12, 1988. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  8. ^ "Westbrook, White sign rookie deals with SuperSonics". ESPN. July 5, 2008. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  9. ^ | Rookie of the Month Feb 9
  10. ^ "Veteran Jackson carries Kings in overtime to beat lowly Thunder". February 1, 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  11. ^ "Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Sacramento Kings – Box Score – February 01, 2009 – ESPN". February 1, 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  12. ^ "Russell Westbrook Info Page". November 12, 1988. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  13. ^ "ESPN – Notes, Stats and Trends from Research March 3, 2009". March 3, 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  14. ^ Bulls' Rose takes home Rookie of Year Award,, April 22, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
  15. ^ "Oklahoma City Thunder at Indiana Pacers Box Score, November 26, 2010". November 26, 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  16. ^ "Russell Westbrook selected to Western Conference All-Star team | Daily". Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  17. ^ Associated Press Text size A A A (February 19, 2012). "Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook combine for 91 points in Oklahoma Thunder OT win". Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  18. ^ ESPN (2012). Heat overcome Russell Westbrook's 43 points, take 3-1 Finals lead. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  19. ^ "Orlando Summer Pro League notebook: Rookies struggle at the line," Daily Oklahoman, July 12, 2008. (subscription required)
  20. ^ Cacciola, Scott (June 14, 2012). "NBA Finals: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Other Fashion Plates of the NBA Make Specs of Themselves -". Retrieved 2012-06-26. 
  21. ^
  22. ^ Golliver, Ben (June 13, 2012). "Russell Westbrook claims he started 'nerd glasses' trend; LeBron James disagrees". Retrieved 2012-06-26. 
  23. ^ Mason, Beckley (November 30, 2011). "Russell Westbrook’s next step: the Tony Parker cut «". Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  24. ^ Tucker, Josh (January 11, 2012). "Russell Westbrook: Transition Jump Shots Key to Scoring Success". Welcome to Loud City. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  25. ^ Prada, Mike (April 6, 2012). "Fun With Synergy: Russell Westbrook, Pull-Up Jumpers And Kevin Durant's Shot Distribution Wisdom". Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  26. ^ Kennedy, Andrew (January 29, 2012). "The Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook pick-and-roll « True Hoop Drew". Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  27. ^ "Russell Westbrook Career Stats Page". November 12, 1988. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  28. ^ "NBA". Retrieved 2012-04-19. 

External links