Russell Westbrook grew up in Long Beach, California, as a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers. Following that, he earned national fame with UCLA in the college circuit. Surely, there is enough history to suggest that he will be a future Laker.
Westbrook’s free agency is still 17 months away. Laker fans, especially celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, have almost taken it for granted that the superstar point guard is returning home. However, Westbrook is not willing to let emotions influence future decisions.
During the all-star weekend in Toronto, the Oklahoma City Thunder star was asked about his interest in donning the Purple & Gold. The 27-year-old didn’t mince his words.
Here’s a recap of the quick interaction.
Reporter: What was your team growing up?
Westbrook: “What was my team? Lakers”
Reporter: Did you dream of playing with Lakers as a child?
Westbrook: “Nah, nah, I never thought I’d play in the NBA. I was just watching them.”
Reporter: Would you like to play for the Lakers?
Westbrook: “Nah, I like where I am now. Oklahoma City is a great place for me.”
Westbrook was never expected to emerge as a superstar talent. Through most of his college stint, scouts expected him to be an effective two-guard who can benefit from his incredible athleticism. Nobody expected Westbrook to become a perennial triple-double machine with an efficient jump shot.
Westbrook didn’t have a reliable jump shot when he came into the league. Last year, he finished the league with the second-best PER (29.1) and won his first scoring title. This year, too, Westbrook is putting up amazing numbers: 24 points per game, 10 assists and 7.6 rebounds.
A month ago, ESPN’s Stephen A Smith suggested the possibility of Westbrook and Kevin Durant teaming up with Lakers come 2017. However, it seems like both the superstars are more focused on trying to bring a championship to the loyal fans of Oklahoma City.
It’s clear that while Russell Westbrook grew up as a fan of the Lakers, he never yearned to wear the Purple & Gold, as suggested by many in the past.