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Russell Westbrook Eyes NBA's Citizenship Award

Apr 1, 2015 12:25 PM

Russell Westbrook has put up MVP-caliber numbers one season after teammate Kevin Durant won the award, but he's had his eye on another award.

“It’s been one of my main goals all season,” said Westbrook of the NBA's J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award. “I want it.” 

Lee Jenkins writes that the change in Westbrook when away from cameras and tape recorders is significant.

“People who don’t know me probably think I’m mad all the time, and with the way I play, they have a point,” he says. “But I’m not Angry Man off the court. I’m a laid-back chill guy.”  

Westbrook plays with a manic energy and it comes from his approach to the game.

“There are many times throughout a season that you may not feel like playing,” says Westbrook. “You may not want to play on this night, or against this team. But I don’t feel that way. This is one of the best jobs in the world, and you never know how long you’ll be able to do it—how long you’ll be able to run like this and jump like this. So I go for it. I go for it every time. It may look angry, but it’s the only way I know.”

Westbrook has had to take on a bigger role with Durant out for most of the season.

“He plays with a rage that ignites this whole team, this whole arena,” said Durant.

Lee Jenkins/Sports Illustrated

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Award, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Kevin Durant: I Would Love To Stick It Out With One Team My Whole Career

Mar 31, 2015 11:22 PM

Kevin Durant can become a free agent in 2016, but he continues to imply that his future will be with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"I love it here, man. I love my teammates, I love the city, I don't really think about anywhere else," Durant told Revolt TV in a recent interview. "I hear it all the time, don't get me wrong, and once you hear it you're kind of like [looks up, thinking]. But for me, I love staying in the moment, and I'm one of those guys that would love to stick it out with one team my whole career.

"Kobe [Bryant], Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki type. That's awesome," he said. "But you never know what the future holds sometimes and how teams may feel about you after a while, but I love it here and I would love to get my jersey retired here."

Royce Young/ESPN

Tags: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Signing Rumor, NBA Misc Rumor

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Westbrook's Adjusted Stat Line For 1962: 47-15-12

Mar 31, 2015 1:50 PM

Russell Westbrook has accumulated nine triple-doubles this season and seven of those came within a 12-game stretch.

In 1961-62, Oscar Robertson averaged 30.8 points, 12.5 rebounds and 11.4 assists to become the first and only player to put up a triple-double season.

The NBA played at a much faster pace in 1962.

According to records from Basketball Reference, Robertson's Cincinnati Royals averaged 105.2 field goal attempts per game, which was actually on the low end that season compared to the league norm.

If you adjust Westbrook's season averages of 27.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 8.6 assists to a pace-adjusted number for 1962, he would average 36.1 points, 11.2 assists and 9.4 rebounds per game.

When you also factor in that top players almost never left the court in that era, Westbrook's era-adjusted stat line is 46.9 points, 14.6 assists and 12.2 rebounds per game.

Tom Haberstroh/ESPN

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Kevin Durant Undergoes Bone Graft Surgery On Foot

Mar 31, 2015 11:51 AM

Kevin Durant has undergone successful bone graft surgery for the fifth metatarsal of his right foot. 

The procedure was performed by Dr. Martin O’Malley with Thunder medical personnel present at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Durant will miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season and is expected to return to full basketball activities in the next four to six months.

Durant posted the following picture and statement on Instagram following the surgery:

"Not what I envisioned coming into this season. But I'm here and ready to conquer this journey. I've heard it all over the last few weeks, but I'm not here to prove anything to anybody, im battling myself. When quit and negativity are staring me in my face, i will stay strong and disciplined. And I won't do it on my own, my closest and friends and family are here to help and that's something I will be forever grateful for. I appreciate all the well wishes from all of you guys, I appreciate it. This is just a small obstacle when I look at the big picture. THANKS TO ALL MY NBA BROTHERS THAT REACHED OUT, means a lot to me. Road to recovery. GO THUNDER, I can't wait to play with my teammates again. LETS DO THIS."

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Injury

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Kevin Love's Best Relationship With Star Player Is Westbrook

Mar 28, 2015 2:27 PM

Kevin Love could become a free agent this summer and his future with the Cleveland Cavaliers remains uncertain.

Love recently told the media that he'd rank Russell Westbrook ahead of teammate LeBron James in the MVP race.

Westbrook can become a free agent in 2017.

“Love enjoys Westbrook," said Brian Windhorst. "They have a relationship. there’s a conspiracy theory that exists out there that Kevin Love will go to the Lakers this summer, or next summer, and then Westbrook will join him when he’s a free agent, and they will reunite in LA, like they played for UCLA. The guy, the star player he has the best relationship in the league with is Westbrook.”

Brian Windhorst/ESPN (via Nick Dudukovich/Factory of Sadness)

Tags: Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor

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Kevin Durant To Undergo Season-Ending Surgery

Mar 27, 2015 3:14 PM

Kevin Durant will undergo season ending surgery on his foot. 

Sam Presti released the following statement:

“As we communicated last week, Kevin was going to use this time to engage in consultation and evaluation regarding the persistent soreness in his right foot at this stage of his rehabilitation. As part of this process, Kevin and Thunder personnel traveled to two additional specialists this past week; Dr. Martin O’Malley in New York City and Dr. James Nunley at Duke University. These in-person consults were designed to further supplement the previous evaluations of Dr. Bob Anderson. Several conference calls and discussions amongst the specialist team concluded that, while the majority of the soreness in Kevin’s foot was related to continued inflammation of the cuboid bone and would subside with rest, the evaluation process also determined that the Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal, which had shown significant healing previously, was now demonstrating signs of regression.  

"With the focus of this process being aimed entirely on Kevin's long term health and stability, it was the consensus of the specialists team, in addition to a collective decision by Kevin, his representation and the Thunder, that to address the setback of the fracture site, a bone graft procedure would be the most proactive and recommendedapproach. The bone graft is the standard procedure for the five to eight percent of Jones fracture surgeries that do not initially have success or experience setbacks sometime within the recovery period. While everyone is disappointed that Kevin falls into that group, we are encouraged that the bone graft procedure has historically demonstrated long-term health and stability. 

"Dr. O’Malley will perform the bone graft surgery early next week in New York. He has extensive bone grafting experience amongst athletes and has been consulting on the case throughout. Kevin will miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season and is expected to return to basketball activities in the next four to six months.” 

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

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Westbrook Confused Why Media Asking About Defense After Giving Up 1.369 PPP

Mar 26, 2015 12:44 PM

The Oklahoma City Thunder were blown out on Wednesday by the San Antonio Spurs, losing 130-91.

Russell Westbrook didn't understand why the media asked him about their defense following the game.

"Uh, defensive issues carrying over. I'm confused," said Westbrook. "You didn't say that when we won four games in a row. I'm just a little confused."

The Thunder had won four straight games before Wednesday, but they also were struggling on defense.

"You can play bad defense [and win], but you don't mention it when we win," Westbrook said. "But when we lose you want to mention it. I'm just a little confused."

Points Per 100 Possessions Allowed over past five games
Mar. 18: 116.0
Mar. 20: 121.0
Mar. 22: 84.1
Mar. 24: 121.2
Mar. 25: 136.9

Royce Young/ESPN

Tags: Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

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Nick Collison Out Minimum Of 10 Days With Sprained Ankle

Mar 21, 2015 11:04 PM

Nick Collison sprained his left ankle on Friday and will miss at least the next 10 days.

Scott Brooks said the injury will sideline Collison through at least March.

Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Enes Kanter also remain out for the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Darnell Mayberry/The Oklahoman

Tags: Nick Collison, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Injury

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Thunder Media Policies Believed To Be Effort To Help Keep Players

Mar 20, 2015 5:26 PM

In an excellent longform piece about the local media's relationship with the Oklahoma City Thunder, longtime columnist Barry Tramel suggested the organization attempts to shield their players from the press as "a simple calculation."

“They got a plan,” Tramel said.

“What the Thunder’s doing is, within league policies, ‘Let’s make everything as good as it can be for the players.’” 

The Thunder have rarely made players available for one-on-one interviews with even the most prominent local reporters.

“[Players] will want to come here, they’ll want to stay," said Tramel. We don’t have a beach. We don’t have Hollywood. But we sure can make things easy on them.”

Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant have been increasingly at odds with the media this season.

Bryan Curtis/Grantland

Tags: Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA

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Kevin Durant Removed From Basketball Activities

Mar 20, 2015 12:33 PM

Kevin Durant has been removed from all basketball activities by the Oklahoma City Thunder. There is no timetable for when Durant will be ready to play.

Durant first underwent surgery on his right foot before the season and returned faster than expected. Durant underwent a second minor procedure in February to relieve soreness.

Durant was getting closer to a return before suffering a relapse of soreness this week.

"His health is the most important thing," said Sam Presti.

Durant has not been ruled out for the rest of the season, but he hasn't been recovering the way that the Thunder had anticipated. Presi said Durant is out indefinitely and will not return until the soreness in his foot goes away.

"Essentially, that's the direction we're headed right now," said Presti when asked if Durant could be out for the rest of the season.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA, NBA Injury

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Iverson: Westbrook Reminds Me So Much Of Myself
Russell Westbrook has a lot of admirers and Allen Iverson may be one of his biggest.

Slam

Thunder Uncertain On Kevin Durant's Return Date
Kevin Durant did not practice on Thursday due to soreness in his right foot.

Darnell Mayberry/The Oklahoman

Serge Ibaka Out 4-6 Weeks Following Surgery On Knee
Serge Ibaka underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to address right knee soreness.

RealGM Staff Report

Serge Ibaka To Undergo Procedure On Knee
Serge Ibaka's timeline for return is unclear.

Royce Young/ESPN

Sam Presti: Ludicrous To Assert Thunder Would Trade Kevin Durant
Sam Presti was asked about the idea that the Thunder would consider trading away Kevin Durant.

Darnell Mayberry/Oklahoman

Kevin Durant Still Out Another 1-2 Weeks
Kevin Durant underwent a second surgical procedure on his foot on Feb. 22.

Anthony Slater/Oklahoman

Russell Westbrook, Mo Williams Named NBA Players Of Week
Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double as he led the Thunder to a 2-1 week.

RealGM Staff Report

Westbrook: The Mask Is Not Going To Stop Me
Russell Westbrook, who wore a protective mask, finished the overtime win with 49 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists.

Darnell Mayberry/Oklahoman

Russell Westbrook, LeBron James Named Players Of The Month
Russell Westbrook had a PER of 34.6 in February, averaging 31.2 points, 9.1 rebounds and 10.2 assists per game.

RealGM Staff Report

Russell Westbrook Undergoes Surgery On Zygomatic Bone Fracture
Russell Westbrook will miss Sunday's game and will be reevaluated this week.

Darnell Mayberry/The Oklahoman

Daryl Morey: Even We Had Doubts About James Harden Trade
Some believed James Harden would not be able to extend his production to superstar minutes when he was 6th Man of the Year with the Thunder.

Howard Beck/Bleacher Report

Westbrook Has 30.0+ PER In Four Of Seven Months Since Third Surgery
Russell Westbrook has inarguably been one of the NBA's best players since the third surgery from December of 2013.

RealGM Staff Report

Source: Thunder Don't Make Decisions Based On Whether Durant, Westbrook Will Approve
The Thunder aggressively remade their supporting cast via trades this season, acquiring Dion Waiters, Enes Kanter, D.J. Augustin, Kyle Singler and Steve Novak.

David Aldridge/NBA.com

Kevin Durant To Be Reevaluated In One Week After Procedure On Foot
Kevin Durant has undergone a second surgical procedure on his right foot and will be reevaluated in one week.

Darnell Mayberry/The Oklahoman

Cavaliers Appear To Be Preferred Team Of Kendrick Perkins
One significant criteria for Kendrick Perkins in choosing a team has been the opportunity for playing time.

Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Durant: Reggie Jackson Got What He Wanted
The final months of Reggie Jackson's tenure with the Thunder were acrimonious.

Royce Young/ESPN

Westbrook, Durant Have No Desire To Be Consulted On Thunder Trade Decisions
Russell Westbrook said he and Kevin Durant feel no need to be consulted at the trade deadline by the Thunder front office.

Anthony Slater/Oklahoman

Pelicans Trade For Ish Smith From Thunder
Ish Smith appeared in 30 games this season with Oklahoma City, averaging 1.2 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.9 assists.

RealGM Staff Report

Reggie Jackson Traded To Pistons, Enes Kanter To Thunder
Reggie Jackson has been dealt to the Pistons, while Enes Kanter goes to the Thunder.

Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports

Nets, Jazz, Pacers, Pistons Interested In Reggie Jackson
Reggie Jackson will be a restricted free agent in the offseason after he rejected a four-year, $48 million offer from the Thunder.

Adrian Wojnarowski/Yahoo! Sports