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Before he transformed into a transcendent talent in his third season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Westbrook had to will himself to want to get better. His development originated here, inside community center gyms in and around the Los Angeles area.
No one needed to say anything to James Harden.
When Jeff Green was dealt to Boston three weeks ago in the trade that brought Kendrick Perkins to the Thunder, Harden knew immediately that he needed to be more productive.
The skinny kid’s shooting mechanics were so out of whack word on the AAU circuit was to lay off him. Add in the fact he played at a small high school and big-time BCS schools, even mid-majors, showed little interest in offering him a scholarship.