Over a decade after leaving UCLA to start his NBA career, Russell Westbrook returned to his native California, joining the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2021-22 season.
Westbrook’s first year in L.A. didn’t come anywhere near the success he had enjoyed earlier in his career — most of which had come during his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The guard featured in four Western Conference finals in 11 seasons with the Thunder, one of which led to an NBA Finals appearance in 2012. He also made eight of his nine All-Star appearances and won the NBA MVP award in 2017 while in Oklahoma City.
The Thunder traded Westbrook to the Houston Rockets in 2019, but it appears he still remembers his time on the team with fondness. Daily Thunder reporter Brandon Rahbar reports the 33-year-old’s foundation is opening an outdoor futsal court in an Oklahoma City high school:
Russell Westbrook’s heart for OKC continues to show despite going from OKC to Houston to DC to LA.
Westbrook’s Why Not? Foundation is opening a new outdoor futsal court at Capitol Hill High School this Monday.
Russ will be in OKC for the ribbon cutting.
— Brandon Rahbar (@BrandonRahbar) June 9, 2022
Although Westbrook’s future reunion with the Thunder can’t be ruled out, the guard seems likely to remain with the Lakers next season. L.A. reportedly accepted the fact they might have to keep Westbrook after NBA teams refused to take on his $47 million salary for 2022-23 without receiving at least one first-round pick in exchange.
Westbrook ‘enthusiastic’ about working with Darvin Ham
Westbrook has reportedly shown “tremendous enthusiasm” for the Lakers’ hiring of Darvin Ham and the new head coach’s vision for the team.
The guard is also likely to officially opt into the final year of his contract by the end of the month.
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