Russell Westbrook is an Oklahoma City Thunder icon, a fan favorite. Oklahoma Sports Hall of Famer, He will soon have his jersey hanging in the rafters of the Paycom Center, and a humongous statue the first of its kind outside of the arena in Bricktown. The OKC Thunder fanbase will always root for the 33-year-old point guard no matter where he lands. The nine-point All-Star, two-time NBA scoring champ, and 75th-anniversary NBA member had a rough go of it in his hometown playing in LaLa Land next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis (Well I mean, did he play next to AD?). The Purple and Gold powerhouse missed the postseason and now sits in limbo.
As Westbrook’s future, past his upcoming 47-million dollar player option, remains in question, the former Thunder guard did a cleanse of his social media in waves. This caused a deep dive spiral within the Oklahoma City Thunder fanbase, as social media is how players send messages in 2022. Across sports, even 49ers wideout DeeBo Samuel deleted all of his social media posts before demanding a trade this offseason.
Russell Westbrook cleansing his Social Media this week caused a deep dive within the OKC Thunder fanbase on a possible reunion in Bricktown
Earlier this week, Westbrook deleted every social media post on his Instagram…besides his posts from his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder. No trace of his life in Houston, D.C., or L.A. as a member of the Rockets, Wizards, and Lakers. The only remains being his tenure in Oklahoma City. What could this mean?
While my first thought was, this is a hat tip to the Thunder fanbase, many fans took this information and started writing the script for the reunion show. Ultimately, was this just a sign of Westbrook theoretically saying “no, no, I am not mad at you OKC, just begrudging my last three stops.”
This was all later put to rest as Russell Westbrook eventually erased his entire social media, not a single post left behind. While also keeping his profile picture of him in a Lakers uniform.
While the mere hours of speculation were fun on an otherwise dry offseason day during the first round of the NBA Playoffs, the logistics behind a Westbrook reunion make the possibilities slim to none.
Russell Westbrook is owed a 47-million dollar player option, Derrick Favors is picking up his ten million dollar player option for the Thunder (though he hypothetically would need to be included in the trade), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander‘s max contract extension kicks in at 30.5-million dollars, the Thunder still owe Kemba Walker 27.4-million dollars to play for someone else, and Kyle Singler earns another million to sit at home.
Salary cap-wise, current team construction-wise, and Westbrook’s career path wise it does not make sense to bring the legend home. I do not believe, even after a subpar season in LaLa Land, Westbrook is ready to take a back seat, a bench role (minutes wise), and become just a mentor. If I had to guess, the future Hall of Fame point guard is determined to show he still has juice. That would not be easy to accomplish in OKC and still allow the Thunder to grow Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Josh Giddey, and potentially four rookies from the top 34 slots in the 2022 NBA Draft.