OKC Thunder: Dennis Schroder inspired by Russell Westbrook

OKC Thunder Dennis Schroder (Photo by Daniel Reinhardt/picture alliance via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder Dennis Schroder (Photo by Daniel Reinhardt/picture alliance via Getty Images) /

In the OKC Thunder’s three-part series on Instagram TV, Dennis Schroder details his journey to the NBA and says Russell Westbrook is the standard to meet.

Long before Dennis Schroder picked up a basketball, the German-born point guard was developing his footwork. And not from soccer or another traditional sport, but from skateboarding.

As detailed in the first part of Schroder’s feature on the OKC Thunder’s Instagram TV, Schroder didn’t start playing basketball until later in childhood. It was only after his brother broke his arm when Schroder’s mom suggested he put away the skateboard and pick up a basketball. The rest, as they say, is history.

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As you might expect, Schroder was a natural. At age 11, he was discovered in a pickup game by local coaches and went on to play organized ball. He began playing professionally in 2010, before being selected 13th overall by the Atlanta Hawks in 2013.

Schroder says Dirk Nowitzki and several other German NBA players were role models to him on the way up. And now with his new team, Schroder wants to live up to Russell Westbrook’s standard.

Even though Westbrook’s intensity is unmatched, and his combination is speed and athleticism makes him one of a kind, it’s still a good standard for Schroder to set. If he’s able to come anywhere close to it, the Thunder bench is in for a much-needed upgrade.

Schroder was acquired by the Thunder with mixed emotions from the fans. On one hand, dumping Carmelo Anthony and acquiring a backup point guard was killing two birds with one stone. At the same time, paying $15.5 million a year for the next three seasons is a commitment for a team already well into the luxury tax.

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Whatever your initial opinion was, the latest feature on IGTV should make you feel optimistic. OKC desperately needed bench depth and Schroder provides just that. He may come at a cost, but it’s not debilitating in the long run. If Westbrook is his standard, he will fit right in.