Russell Westbrook offers high praise to OKC Thunder at Houston introduction

Former OKC Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook with new teammate James Harden (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)
Former OKC Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook with new teammate James Harden (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Russell Westbrook was introduced to the Houston media and answered questions which invariably included nods to the OKC Thunder.

Barely a minute into his media session introducing him to his new team Russell Westbrook found a way to include the OKC Thunder. Asked about integrating his efforts with that of James Harden, the superstar reminded those in attendance how familiar the two former Most Valuable Players are with each other.

In the first question posed to Westbrook, he was asked how the pairing with James Harden would work and if they had thought about whether one would need to function on the ball and the other off it. Russ noted his friendship with Harden extends back to their childhood when they began playing against each other as ten year olds. He also noted this situation is different than most stars joining each other since they played together while both members of the OKC Thunder.

Not surprisingly the point guard is committed to winning and finding a way to excel so he and Harden can capture a title together and finally hoist that gold ball overhead.

In the second question posed, Westbrook also took the opportunity to thank the OKC Thunder and specifically saying he couldn’t begin with his new squad without thanking the one which brought him to Houston. The superstar thanked the Thunder franchise for drafting him and singled out Sam Presti, owner Clay Bennett, and the entire OKC Thunder organization.

Westbrook stated this was a new chapter in which he’s excited to reunite with Harden and the journey ahead for the pair.

Westbrook was asked about the process which brought him to Houston and again he chose the opportunity to cite the collaborative effort and openness of his former franchise to help him move into a situation he desired.

More from Thunderous Intentions

Later in the interview, Russell was asked about his emotions leaving the city and franchise he has become synonymous with. The superstar spoke of mixed emotions, calling it tough and something which will stay with him over his lifetime.

As he has stated previously, Westbrook cited his attachment to the city and how it began with him as a teenager and the place he grew up over these past 11 years. He went on to cite how grateful he was for all the management and coaches noting how they always stood up for him and had his back.

For fans who wondered about whether Westbrook and the OKC Thunder were looking at trade scenarios prior to the George trade, his answer left room for uncertainty although he cited the PG trade as expediting him moving on.

As for how the pair will function of course the ever competitive Westbrook is positive the duo will succeed. He’s open to playing off the ball or on. While many pundits question Westbrook’s shooting efficiency and how two ball dominant players can function together those of us who’ve followed the superstar know he’s far more willing to adapt then he’s given credit for.

Daryl Morey stated they never thought Westbrook was a trade option until news of the Paul George trade broke when he immediately jumped on attempting to get Westbrook to Houston.

It’s doubtful any of us will ever feel quite comfortable seeing Russell Westbrook in a Houston Rockets jersey, nonetheless as fans of the Brodie we’ll continue to wish him the very best and hope he finds the success he’s worked so hard for during his career.

Next. Thank you, Russell Westbrook; a trip down memory lane. dark

The full introduction with question and answer session is available in the video above.