Now an assistant with the Raptors, Carlesimo gives full credit to Thunder general manager Sam Presti for selecting Russell Westbrook with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2008 draft.
Presti liked Westbrook all along, but so did Carlesimo.
â€œWhere I was torn was (choosing between) Russell or (Stanford center) Brook Lopez,â€ Carlesimo said. â€œWith me, it was big versus small. Those guys (Presti and Co.) had Russell wired. They thought he was going to be so special that you couldn't pass that up. I loved Russell, but the decision for me was whether we went big or we went small. If we went small, there was no discussion needed. It was Russell.â€
Backup forward D.J. White, who sprained his right ankle in the second quarter of Friday night's 111-99 loss at Toronto and did not return, remains questionable for today's 6 p.m. game against Golden State.
White will be re-evaluated after this morning's shoot-around session at the Thunder practice facility.
â€œIt's always a show. You're never quite sure what's coming next. He's exciting. He's just a specimen right now. He's like a video game â€” him and Blake Griffin.â€ â€” Durant on the explosiveness of Westbrook
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Next five for Thunder
Today: vs. Golden State, 6 p.m. (FSO) &mdash Four players average 15-plus points in Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, David Lee and Dorell Wright.
Monday: at Chicago, 7 p.m. (FSO) &mdash Thunder opened season with a victory over Bulls, who are struggling to stay atop the Central Division.
Wednesday: at Minnesota, 7 p.m. (FSO) &mdash Timberwolves fought hard Nov. 22 in loss at OKC and were led by Kevin Love and Darko Milicic.
Friday: at New Orleans, 7 p.m. (FSO) &mdash Eleven days earlier, Thunder put together comeback victory against Chris Paul and David West.
Sunday: vs. Cleveland, 6 p.m. (FSO) &mdash If Thunder is unable to beat Golden State, it will still be looking for first Sunday victory of season.