Thank you, Russell Westbrook; a trip down memory lane

Russell Westbrook of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook of the OKC Thunder (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook #0 of the Sophomore Team (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Russell Westbrook was selected with the fourth pick of the 2008 NBA Draft, and the rest is hist0ry.

Russell Westbrook and his 2008 Draft class (Serge Ibaka, Walter Sharpe, Trent Plaisted, DeVon Hardin, and Sasha Kaun) were the last players drafted by the Seattle Supersonics, however, none of them played in Seattle. After the draft, the organization officially moved to Oklahoma City.

Russell Westbrook earned his first start for the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 29th, 2008 in Memphis. The team won their second game of the season, meaning their second game under the new Oklahoma City umbrella 111-103.

Westbrook logged 38 minutes that game, the most of his career to that point, was a plus-eight and posted 12 points with five rebounds and four assists including two steals. From that moment on, he would never be subjected to the bench again, starting every game for the Thunder as a part of his iron man streak of 374 consecutive games played dating back to his NBA debut up until a fateless day which we will get to later.

Also in his rookie season, Russell Westbrook averaged 15 points per game with 4.9 rebounds and five assists per game.

Westbrook made the All-Rookie team in 2008-09 but lost the Rookie of the Year award to Derrick Rose, the first overall pick in that year’s draft.

In his rookie year, the Thunder suffered their first, and only losing season to date. The team went 23-59 and Westbrook was forced to work with two different coaches.

P.J. Carlesimo was the Thunder’s first ever head man, but he was quickly ousted in favor of Scott Brooks. Carlesimo led the Thunder to a 1-13 record before being canned.

Losing is not something Westbrook is too fond of. Both his UCLA teams made deep NCAA tournament runs, including a Final Four appearance that ended at the hands of Derrick Rose’s Memphis Tigers.

Winning was something the OKC Thunder were about to start doing a lot of.