When Kevin Durant made his decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors via free agency, it put the Oklahoma City Thunder a bit of frenzy. Much of this focused on the future of Russell Westbrook with the franchise given that he was set to enter free agency nex summer, but he quickly put that worry to rest after signing a two-year extension. In a recent interview with GQ Magazine, Westbrook gave a simple but straight forward answer to why he decided to stay with the Thunder.
“But it wasn’t like that at all for me. There was no process. It was just very simple,” Westbrook said. “I wasn’t trying to figure out if I was leaving or not. I was happy where — I am happy where — I’m at. It’s very simple.”
There is plenty of reasons for Westbrook to be happy about where he’s at. With Durant’s departure, he’s now the face of the franchise that will now lead the team to victory primarily through his efforts as the top offensive option on a night-to-night basis. It’s also the place where he’s grown into the player he has become today and experienced much success along the way.
This is just an opportunity for him accomplish more at a personal level while proving to himself that he can lead an NBA team to a championship. It also doesn’t hurt that the Thunder offered him a three-year, $85 million extension that makes him the league’s second-highest paid player tied with most notably Durant while only trailing LeBron James. All in all, Westbrook has in front of him a promising situation.