Russell Westbrook is set to play for his third NBA organization in the past three seasons, something is safe to say he wasn't used to doing before.
'The Brodie', who was traded to the Washington Wizards from the Houston Rockets in exchange for John Wall, is ready to start again with a new organization, and is excited to join former All-Star Bradley Beal.
“I’m super excited about it man,” Westbrook said. “Brad (Beal) is a superstar talent. He proved that and showed that last year with what he had. And he’s only going to get better. My job is to come in here and continue to uplift him and push him to be better. And that’s all I’m here for. And I’m happy to be his counterpart and to try and make the game easier for him and that’s what I’m going to try to do.”
Following a one-year stint at Houston alongside James Harden, the Rockets under-achieved and Westbrook decided to demand a trade. The guard did not slow down though, as he played in 57 regular-season games where he averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7 assists per contest.
The SoCal native still has three years and $132.6 million remaining on his contract. Westbrook was acquired by Houston from Oklahoma City in a trade in which they sent Chris Paul, two first-round picks and other draft considerations to the Thunder.
The UCLA product will also join Head Coach Scott Brooks, who coached him from 2008-15 in Oklahoma City.
“The great thing about me and Scotty’s (Brooks) relationship is we always stayed connected. We always stayed in contact throughout my whole career,” Westbrook added. “Scotty was a huge part of the reason I’m able to do some of the things I’m able to do now. He gave me an opportunity and a chance to go out and make silly mistakes, some of the same mistakes I make today. He allowed me to do that and I’m grateful for that because I learned so much about myself, about my game, who I am as a player. And I’m just happy and excited to be back with him and to continue, obviously our friendship, and also be on the basketball court together.”
The Wizards have failed to make the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. This year is expected to be different though, as aside from the two all-stars, the team has some experienced and talented players in Davis Bertans and Thomas Bryant, as well as sophomore Rui Hachimura.