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Thunder's Russell Westbrook backs off statement

Darnell Mayberry Modified: June 26, 2009 at 4:44 am •  Published: June 26, 2009
Three hours before the start of Thursday’s NBA Draft, Thunder guard Russell Westbrook backed away from blunt statements he made in a magazine regarding the team’s possible addition of Ricky Rubio.

Westbrook, sporting a new Mohawk hairstyle, appeared on ESPN’s "Jim Rome is Burning” and claimed he doesn’t remember telling ESPN The Magazine in response to the idea of the Thunder drafting the 18-year-old Spanish point guard, "You trippin.’ ”

"I don’t recall saying that,” Westbrook said. "I don’t remember saying that at all.”

In the newest issue of the magazine, Westbrook was quoted as saying he would draft Arizona’s State shooting guard James Harden with the third overall pick and Ohio State center B.J. Mullens with the 25th selection.

On Thursday, Westbrook said a potential pairing of he and Rubio could work.

"It wouldn’t be a bad situation for us,” Westbrook said. "But I would just leave that up to Oklahoma City and hopefully they make the right decision.”

When asked if the pairing could work, Westbrook said, "Whatever’s good for the team, I’m going to try my best to contribute to the team in any way I can.