Westbrook has just groomed himself to be in this position since he was an overlooked prospect at UCLA.
â€œHe was my roommate in college, and he was the type of person that was the first in the gym and the last to leave,â€ said Minnesota forward and former Bruins teammate Kevin Love. â€œI wanted to be that guy but he always seemed to beat me there and also stay longer. He was the guy always getting extra work in and you could tell that he was destined to be a great player and destined to have a big impact on the NBA.â€
Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles, a former point guard, has watched Westbrook blossom from afar. Skiles remembers how many doubted Westbrook's potential to play the point guard position after he was drafted fourth overall in 2008.
â€œSometimes in his rookie year, maybe that played out but not anymore,â€ Skiles said. â€œHe makes very good decisions out there for the most part â€¦ I think as he's gotten a little bit older, even though he's still very young, his decisions have gotten better on the break and in the half-court.â€
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Westbrook deserves everything good that comes his way. And whether it does or not, Brooks said, Westbrook will continue to work to be the best player he can possible be.
â€œOne of Russell's strength is he has great belief in himself,â€ Brooks said. â€œHe doesn't play with a fear to fail. That's a great quality of his. He puts his will into the game every night and that is what makes him unique.â€Westbrook talks dunk contest
Thunder vs. Hornets
When: 7 p.m. Monday
Where: Oklahoma City Arena
TV: FS Oklahoma (Cox 37, HD Ch. 722)
Radio: WWLS 98.1-FM, WWLS 640-AM
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
* This is the first of four meetings between the two teams.
* The Thunder went 2-1 against the Hornets last season.
* The Hornets are holding opponents to a league-low 91.1 points per game.
Pos., Player, Ht., Pts., Reb., Ast
G, Russell Westbrook, 6-3, 23.8, 5.2, 8.3
G, Thabo Sefolosha, 6-7, 6.4, 5.1, 1.7
F, Kevin Durant, 6-9, 28.1, 6.9, 2.9
F, Jeff Green, 6-9, 18.3, 6.8, 1.2
C, Nenad Krstic, 7-0, 7.8, 4.9, 0.4
G, Chris Paul, 6-0, 16.6, 4.8, 10.3
G, Marco Belinelli, 6-5, 12.7, 2.3, 1.2
F, Trevor Ariza, 6-8, 11.1, 5.3, 2.5
F, David West, 6-9, 18.2, 6.5, 1.9
C, Emeka Okafor, 6-10, 9.8, 9.6, 0.3 Note: Stats and record are through Saturday's games.