The Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t messing around, and neither is Russell Westbrook.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have had the best offseason of any other team in the NBA, and they just capped it off by signing Russell Westbrook to a five-year extension.
The timing of this can’t be ignored.
Westbrook waited months to sign this contract, and he chose to close the deal on Kevin Durant’s birthday. Was this a mistake? No way. The mayor of Oklahoma City responded to Westbrook’s decision with this pronouncement.
This will be the year of Westbrook. It is now his job to convince Paul George and Carmelo Anthony to stay in town and contend for championships. That task would be a lot easier if the Thunder make a deep playoff run, and they will need to gel quickly for this group to defeat the Golden State Warriors.
Westbrook’s five-year, $205 million extension will almost ensure his legendary status for all time in Oklahoma, but will his legacy include a title? That is what remains to be seen.
Durant didn’t bother calling Westbrook before making the decision to leave the Thunder for the team they dropped a 3-1 series lead to in the 2015-16 NBA Playoffs, and you could tell that things were salty between them for all of last season. That Westbrook signed this deal on Durant’s birthday should send a clear signal to the Warriors. The Thunder are coming for the crown, and they will be led by the 2017 NBA MVP for the foreseeable future. Westbrook averaged a triple-double last season and was fantastic individually, but he lacked the team success that validates a superstar. The Thunder have given him the help he needs to get it done in the playoffs, and this will be the most fascinating season in their franchise’s history.
When you wake up tomorrow it will be Russell Westbrook Day, and thanks to the mayor of Oklahoma City, it will remain the same throughout the whole year.