“Where do you want me to start?” Washington Wizards’ new superstar acquisition Russell Westbrook said on Saturday speaking to the media for the first time since being traded from Houston Rockets. Westbrook clarified he is misunderstood. “Because a lot of times, the things that are made up, people don’t actually know me to be able to say anything about me or what I am about or what I believe in. ... Obviously, I am not the easiest guy to understand, whatever, watch play, whatever people may think.”
A nine-time All Star, Westbrook had a rather unusual feather in his hat, becoming first NBA MVP to be traded in consecutive offseasons.
Westbrook explained that the player on court and the persona off court are two different people. “When I am on the floor, I don’t have any friends, I am not trying to be friendly, I’m trying to bust somebody’s ass. I ain’t got time to try to shake hands and do all that. I don’t have time for it, and I am never changing that,” the explosive point guard said it loud and clear.
At the back of three consecutive triple-double seasons at the Oklahoma City Thunder, Westbrook was traded to join forces with James Harden for the 2019-20 season. And in the current offseason found himself a new team in the Wizards. Much like any other seasoned pro, the 32-year old admitted that these moves affect his family more than him. “Not as much for me but for my wife and my family now. She has to move my kids, find schools, place to stay so that’s the most difficult part because I know the stress it puts on my family,” said Westbrook.
Wizards, who went 25-47 last season, expect Westbrook to run with their franchise cornerstone Bradley Beal and push the team in playoffs contention, but Westbrook’s idea of legacy is different.
“Legacy for me is based on how many people I impact and inspire along my journey,” Westbrook said. “It’s important that somebody that has the power, the impact, the ability, the impact, the outreach to be able to put their foot down and make a stand,” Westbrook added.