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OKC Thunder: Former McGuinness star Daniel Orton used to being mistaken for Russell Westbrook

Former McGuinness standout Daniel Orton is back in his home state and vying for a backup center role. But apparently his face isn't THAT familiar in OKC, as he keeps getting mixed up for teammate Russell Westbrook.
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: October 6, 2012

photo - The Thunder's Russell Westbrook, left, and Daniel Orton.  Photos by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
The Thunder's Russell Westbrook, left, and Daniel Orton. Photos by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Former Bishop McGuinness star Daniel Orton signed with the Thunder on Aug. 4 and is vying for a backup center role alongside Cole Aldrich and Hasheem Thabeet.

The 6-foot-10, 255-pound Orton appeared in 16 games (two starts) with the Orlando Magic last season and averaged 2.8 points, 2.5 rebounds and 11.7 minutes. The Magic selected Orton with the 29th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Orton spent one season at Kentucky and played behind fellow freshman DeMarcus Cousins, now with the Sacramento Kings.

How many people have said you look like Russell Westbrook?

“Too many. I get mistaken for him all the time, pumping gas or going to the grocery store. It gets to the point where I don't even explain, ‘I'm not who you think I am.' OK, I'll take a picture (with you).”

So people think Russell is 6-foot-10?

“I guess they just really don't know. Oh, well.”

This could be a magical scenario for you. You're back home and on a good team.

“As far as this being 'Magical,' [smiling] I wouldn't put it that way, but it's a true blessing to come into a situation (like this), especially being in the situation I was in last year (with uncertainty involving teammate Dwight Howard), which most of you know about and heard about. But to come into a situation like this, talking to other players and just chatting it up with them, you understand how special this place is as far as the way they handle things and the way they approach pretty much everything. The time and care they put into everything they do.”

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