So far Russell Westbrook will only laugh (see below) in public when asked about former teammate Kevin Durant ditching the OKC Thunder for the Warriors “superteam.” But Westbrook also wants the last laugh — he’s the kind of ferocious competitor where anything else won’t do. News that Westbrook has signed an $85 million contract extension to remain in OKC and pursue a Thunder title isn’t too surprising to those who know Westbrook’s story, character and sense of loyalty. (Westbrook gave the largest gift an alumni athlete has ever given to UCLA, after spending just two years there.)
Westbrook also knows that the Thunder, despite losing Durant, are still ranked No. 6 in Las Vegas to win the NBA title. And Westbrook remembers that in the Thunder’s game 6 heart-breaker at home with a chance to clinch a trip to the Finals, the great Kevin Durant shot 10-of 31, including 1-of-8 from three. Westbrook, who can get a triple-double in his sleep, knows the Thunder can contend without Durant. He just signed a contract that proves it.