Russell Westbrook disappeared, somewhere in the back of the locker room, reemerging with a blue dry-erase marker in one hand. He stood in front of the ceremonial Thunder postgame news conference whiteboard, and as he answered questions — featuring a highly sarcastic self-aware “stat-padding” response when asked about his mindset in rebounding — he turned completely around and started writing as he talked.
If you know Westbrook, you can probably guess what he wrote — his motto, the phrase he lives his life by both on and off the court: #whynot? He erased it, wrote it again double underlined, and kept answering questions about the Thunder’s 109-104 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night.nfl cheap nike jerseys
Westbrook was sensational, finishing with 30 points on 10-of-18 shooting, eight assists and 12 rebounds, the final two stat-padded boards being in traffic over Charlotte center Cody Zeller to seal the win. But what was most notable was Westbrook’s approach, which was another example of his adjustment this season in getting off the ball some, letting the offense breathe and not taking on the burden of trying to do everything at once.
With 3:30 left and the Thunder up two, the ball popped around the perimeter, to Dennis Schroder, then to Jerami Grant in the corner, then to Paul George at the top of the key and then to Westbrook on the right wing. He caught it, standing in space, and attacked the middle of the paint, drawing an and-1. It was a different kind of look, the sort thing the Thunder have been working on this season, trying to nudge Westbrook to do more by doing a little less.
Westbrook’s altered method this season has been noticeable, and those around the team have noted his buy-in and commitment to it. He’s still the Thunder’s best player. He’s still what makes them go. But there’s a different focus in how he’s doing it.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china
He was asked about it after the game, if his approach has changed, and did what one would expected: He pointed at the whiteboard to #whynot? A slight adjustment to the question and Westbrook explained.
“I just play, bro. Play to win. Like I’ve always done,” he said, turning around from the whiteboard. “It’s about, hmm, my 11th year. It’s what I do. Obviously, for me, guys and people that have been around here, been around Oklahoma City, our personnel changes every year. Personnel changes — you’ve got to do different things. You’ve got to do more, you’ve got to do less. So my job is I’m a basketball player and I do everything so I can play off the ball, on the ball, whatever. Defend. Doesn’t matter. As long as I’m on the floor, I can make something happen.”