OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook's winning ways, resiliency when he's not winning, impressed OKC

Russell Westbrook's potential contract extension wasn't something that weighed heavily on his mind, the team's point guard said Sunday.
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Published: January 22, 2012

Apparently so, given Westbrook agreed to a five-year, $80 million contract extension last Thursday.

In addition to Westbrook's impact on winning, what has particularly impressed Brooks is Westbrook's resiliency when he's not winning, such as the Thunder's 23-59 record his rookie season in 2008-09.

"He has the toughness to put it behind him and focus on the next day," Brooks said of losing, "because there were some tough times for all of us. He kept working, kept improving. He kept getting better."

Sunday's get together was staged at the Thunder Community Events Center in conjunction with the Oklahoma City Parks and Recreation Thunder Youth Basketball League.

Despite a rugged start individually the first four games this season, Westbrook insisted the potential contract extension never weighed heavily on his mind, nor did he ever look to sign elsewhere and even went as far to refer to the Thunder as "the best organization in sports."

"I didn't sense that it was weighing heavily on his mind, but it's human nature to look at that part of the business," Brooks said.

Westbrook's play has been exemplary the past six games, which very well could coincide with progress in contract negotiations.

"He's in a nice stretch right now," Brooks said. "His game has really tightened up. His turnovers are down. His pullup game, his layup game is on, but he has toughness to overcome all of that."

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