Share “Oklahoma City Thunder Q&A: Guard Walker...”

Oklahoma City Thunder Q&A: Guard Walker Russell

Newcomer said leaving Pistons for Thunder “has been a total 360.”
By John Rohde Published: October 1, 2012

Your early thoughts on the players?

“I can see that everybody's like a family here. Every time we work out, we always bring it in (for a huddle). What can I say about those guys? Young guys, who made it to the Finals last year. There's really nothing I can say. They've shown everybody what's going on.”

What do they expect from you in training camp?

“Sam said: ‘I've been following you for a while. I like your game.' He just wants me to come out here and show what I can do. I've been out here the past couple of weeks and they've been impressed. I don't think they knew I could do some of the things I could do. Like I said, last year was a big boost of confidence. Now I've seen what the NBA is about.”

What work have you done the last few weeks?

“Drills, scrimmages, they got to see that I can run the team. I got some wins, playing with KD (Kevin Durant), showing them I could help the team, just running the offense.”

How are you going to shut down Russell Westbrook?

“Umm, shutting down Russ is going to be tough. (smiling) I don't know too many people who can shut down anybody. Just contain him and show that I'm competitive and I'm not scared to go against anybody.”

You've been around, having made previous stops in the Dominican Republic (2011), China (2011), Germany (2010-11), Puerto Rico (2010), Bulgaria (2009-10), Madrid (2008) and the Czech Republic (2006-07).

“I've always been the guy where people have told me I was never going to get to this level. To me, I've been a grinder. That's all I know is to grind and get where I want. Me coming in every day and being a professional … I think my maturity level really surprised a lot of people.”