OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook's consecutive games played streak a badge of honor he won't discuss

Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook has been impressively durable during his NBA career — just don't ask him to talk about it.
BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Published: March 31, 2012
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Russell Westbrook insists he isn't superstitious.

Just don't ask the Thunder's point guard to talk about his health.

Westbrook leads all active NBA players in consecutive games played with 297 straight games. In a league filled with machismo mentalities, the streak is a badge of honor of sorts for Westbrook.

It also is a tangible trait, Westbrook's durability, that is quickly turning him into the lead dog among the league's top floor leaders.

As the Thunder prepares to face Chicago for the first and only time before what just might crystallize into this year's NBA Finals matchup, Oklahoma City finally finds its All-Star point guard garnering as much, if not more, praise than the Bulls' reigning MVP, Derrick Rose.

Westbrook can thank the basketball gods for blessing him with superb health that, coupled with a recent string of consistent dominance, now has national analysts like Jeff Van Gundy claiming he's been the best point guard in the league this year.

Now, the two-time All-Star isn't just careful to not jinx his good fortune, he's borderline paranoid of even talking about it.

After being asked about his durability following Saturday's practice, Westbrook paused for 4 1/2 seconds before responding.

His first word was more of a murmur: “Uhhh.”

Another 3 1/2 seconds passed before Westbrook landed on something he deemed safe enough to offer up.

“Just coming in and working out and trying to stay fit, I guess,” Westbrook attempted to explain. “I don't know.”

Westbrook then fessed up to his fear.

“I'd rather not talk about it to tell you the truth,” he said.

Nearly four years in, the player who some have affectionately nicknamed “Honey Badger” for being arguably the Thunder's most fearless player has finally revealed his kryptonite — discussing injuries.

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