OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook said he will come back a better player

Training camp starts Saturday, and Oklahoma City's All-Star point guard has not yet been cleared to resume full basketball activities. Team officials are not providing a timetable for when Westbrook will return.
by Darnell Mayberry Modified: September 25, 2013 at 9:41 am •  Published: September 23, 2013
Advertisement
;

photo - Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook speaks to the media on Thursday, May 9, 2013 in Oklahoma City, Okla. for the first time about his season-ending knee injury sustained in a first round NBA basketball playoff game against Houston.  Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook speaks to the media on Thursday, May 9, 2013 in Oklahoma City, Okla. for the first time about his season-ending knee injury sustained in a first round NBA basketball playoff game against Houston. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

As for what is perhaps the biggest question, his playing style, Westbrook nearly scoffed at the idea that it might be different. His retort: “not at all.”

“Every season I try to come back and be a better player,” Westbrook said. “This season should be no different. I should try to come back and be a better player, better teammate and come back and try to win.”

Still, for as confident as Westbrook sounds, both he and the team knows this recovery will take time. The organization, historically cautious with injuries, is again playing it safe with Westbrook. The team wants to make sure Westbrook is healthy not just to start the season but also maintains that health throughout the season and throughout his career.

“When he returns to play, he's not returning to play for that specific day, he's returning to play at a level for a very, very long time,” Presti said. “And we want to make sure that the process is reflective of how serious we were taking his return to the court.”

Westbrook, who was forced to watch the Thunder's final nine playoff games from either a suite inside Chesapeake Energy Arena or his couch, said his motivation throughout rehab was simple.

“I want to get back on the floor,” Westbrook said. “I see my teammates out there and want to go out there and help them. It was tough watching them in the playoffs, and it was tough for me getting down to business in the summer on my rehab. It's just buckling down and taking it one day at a time. I come in every morning and do what I need to do and just think about the next day after that. That's just the process of wanting to get better, wanting to get stronger and wanting to come back better.”

Now, Westbrook is weeks away from his long-awaited return.

“I'll probably be a little overhyped,” Westbrook said of his first game back. “I can't wait to get back on the floor, especially in front of our fans. It'd be almost like my first game when I was a rookie.”


by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Texas: Gay-marriage ban best for children
  2. 2
    Steven Adams: 'If I'm a d---,' they'll think all New Zealand guys are
  3. 3
    Future OSU-TU football, basketball games added in contract
  4. 4
    Kurt Warner wants Sam Bradford to 'develop confidence, take some chances'
  5. 5
    Serge Ibaka Q&A: I'm not 100 percent back yet
+ show more