Thunder notebook: Russell Westbrook adjusting to added attention
In the past three road games, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook has faced an increased amount of attention from large gatherings of media members in New Jersey, Toronto and Chicago. The third-year point guard has been surrounded by reporters before and after games and cheered by opposing fans during games.
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It's become the latest sign of how big Westbrook is becoming. Even Thunder coach Scott Brooks' pre-game media sessions have been flooded with inquiries about Westbrook's emergence.
But Westbrook, who on Monday was announced as the Western Conference Player of the Week for the second time in three weeks, is trying his best to not let the spotlight get to his head.
â€œI'm just trying to stay the same and continue to strive to get better,â€ Westbrook said. â€œIt's just a start. I'm just trying to make the next jump.â€
For Westbrook, though, the recognition is different than anything he is used to. Only five years ago, Westbrook was an overlooked high school prospect who barely landed a big-time Division I scholarship.
â€œMy family keeps me humbled and keeps me grounded,â€ Westbrook said. â€œThey kind of don't even talk about it. They just talk about other things. That definitely helps.â€
When asked if he'd rather go back to the days of relative obscurity, Westbrook said he doesn't mind the fame.
â€œIt's a good thing,â€ Westbrook said. â€œI want to get better, and if that comes along with it it's not a bad thing. But at the same time, I'm not really paying attention to it.â€
ALDRICH RECALLED FROM TULSA
Rookie center Cole Aldrich rejoined the Thunder in Chicago after being recalled from the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Development League on Monday.
In five games, Aldrich averaged 7.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 27.4 minutes.
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