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Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook stays consistent

by Berry Tramel Published: December 19, 2012

Here’s what I love about Russell Westbrook. His remarkable consistency. Not necessarily on the court, though that, too. I love Westbrook’s consistently mundane answers, because he offers them up to everyone.

The local media in the Thunder locker room? Mundane. The national media? Mundane.

Westbrook was on ESPN’s SVP & Russillo radio show Tuesday, and no matter how much hosts Ryan Russillo and Adnan Virk tried to get Westbrook to say something interesting, they had no chance.

Are you guys better this year?

Westbrook: “Not sure. I know for one thing, this year we’re taking things one day at a time, trying to get better.”

With James Harden gone in a trade, is it easier for you, knowing you won’t be playing off the ball at times, with Harden engineering the offense?

Westbrook: “Kind of goes both ways. Certain games, James would have it, sometimes I would have it, sometimes Kevin would have it. With James gone, we’ve just got to step up and make plays.”

Big win over the Spurs last night. What can that do for the team?

Westbrook: “It can help us. Spurs are a great team. They move the ball well. Especially on the road, they’re a good team. Been together for awhile. That’s a big win.”

What’s the secret of your current hot streak?

Westbrook: “Taking it one game at a time. We take it one game at a time. Let the rest take care of itself.”

How close are you with Kevin Durant?

Westbrook: “Very close. Me and Kevin, we communicate all the time. Talk about different things. We’ve been close since we came into the league. Never been a problem with that.”

How important is that helping you with each other’s games?

Westbrook: “Very important. We both understand each other’s game. When I’m down, Kevin’s down, we have an off night, we’re there to pick each other up.  Our teammates are there as well.”

You’ve got a huge matchup against the Miami Heat on Christmas Day. You guys been talking about that matchup at all?

Westbrook: “No.”

Are you looking forward to that game?

Westbrook: “Not looking forward to nothing at all. Just another game for us. We’ve got a game tomorrow night against the Hawks. We’re going to take care of that first, then when that game comes up, then we’ll think about that.”

How happy were you for Serge Ibaka’s big game against the Spurs, in light of Stephen Jackson’s anti-Ibaka comments?

Westbrook: “I don’t think that had anything to do with it. Serge has been playing great all season long. Honestly, he’s been playing at an all-star level.  Shot the ball well, defending. Doing what he does. He’s played great.”

You play with an edge. Are you able to focus on the many who know you’re a great player, or do you focus on the few who pick at your game?

Westbrook: “Honestly, I just play. Positive, negative, I just play. My teammates have my back. Coaching staff, organization, fans are behind me. My family, friends. I don’t really worry about it either way, tell you the truth. Sometimes it’s good , sometimes it’s bad. You never know. I just go out and play every night with the edge I normally play with.”

Welcome to the club, Virk and Russillo. We’ve been trying to pull something interesting out of Westbrook for four-plus years. Good to know that Westbrook is no respecter of media outlets.


by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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