Russell Westbrook approaching All-Star status

Russell Westbrook appears destined to play in his first career All-Star game this season in Los Angeles. Westbrook grew up near the city and played in college at UCLA.
by Darnell Mayberry Modified: December 2, 2010 at 8:50 pm •  Published: November 28, 2010

“It's not something that I have on my mind,” Westbrook said. “It would be good to have something like that under your belt but I'm not playing for it.”

Westbrook has just groomed himself to be in this position since he was an overlooked prospect at UCLA.

“He was my roommate in college, and he was the type of person that was the first in the gym and the last to leave,” said Minnesota forward and former Bruins teammate Kevin Love. “I 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.”

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.

“Sometimes in his rookie year, maybe that played out but not anymore,” Skiles said. “He makes very good decisions out there for the most part … 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.”

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.

“One of Russell's strength is he has great belief in himself,” Brooks said. “He 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.”

Westbrook talks dunk contest
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...
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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.

PROJECTED STARTERS

Thunder (11-5)

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

Hornets (12-3)

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.

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