Russell Westbrook just agreed to the richest deal in NBA history with the Oklahoma City Thunder…and they chose an interesting time to do it.
Russell Westbrook was rightly compensated for all the hard work that he has put in for the Thunder. And with the offseason winding down, Sam Presti put the finishing touches on his case for Executive of the Year by locking up his star point guard for five years and dispelling any rumors of him joining the Lakers next year.
Sept. 29 is a good day to be a Thunder fan. But in years past, that date was also significant to the franchise since it’s Kevin Durant’s birthday. Even though it’s been over a year since he joined forces with Golden State, the fact that the Thunder chose today to sign Westbrook’s extension means they’re definitely not over it:
Durant, for a long time, was considered the best player in Thunder history, especially after he won the 2014 MVP. But after the season Westbrook had, combined with the fact that he’s shown a devout loyalty to Oklahoma City, he’s ready to take that mantle.
Even if Paul George and Carmelo Anthony choose to bolt after this season, they should feel safe knowing that they’ll have a superstar in the long term. While giving Westbrook a supporting cast was much needed, he proved how far he can take his team as well as achieve some meteoric goals. So long as he’s around, they’ll still be a playoff team at the very least.
It’s hard to imagine Durant saw this news and thought nothing of it. Given what we found out about him recently, one of these reactions could be his own:
At the very least, this should make the first Thunder-Warriors game of the season even more highly anticipated than it already is.