August 4th, 2016, a day that will go down in history for the Thunder as the day they were given their hope back, exactly one month after it had all been taken away. August 4th, 2016, a day that was filled with celebration and smiles bigger than ever in Oklahoma City. August 4th, 2016, the day that Russell Westbrook agreed to a contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
When breaking down the deal it can be seen that it is one which made sense for both Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. OKC is now sure that for the next two years they will continue to be in the spotlight and, more importantly, the NBA playoffs. In return Russell Westbrook will be getting more money than he ever could in free agency and he will go back up for free agency when he is a 10 year veteran of the league, a mark that can net Westbrook more money than ever and possibly make him the highest paid player in NBA history.
The scary fact of the matter is that Westbrook can still leave the Thunder and get the big bucks after the next two seasons, but here is the thing, the way Westbrook and the Thunder acted it seemed like it was a long-term marriage for both sides. Westbrook went back to OKC and a crowd came out to the ‘Peake. They all cheered Westbrook’s name as he went into the arena so that he could sign his new contract and have his first press conference since he who shall not be named left.
While at the press conference Westbrook stressed three aspects of life, teamwork, loyalty, and love for this city that he has been a player for his entire career. Something about Westbrook made him seem more likable and sincere than ever before. Westbrook was not backing down from any of the questions and some of the ones he joked around about. Who was this man up on the stage? It was a man who now has a team and city fully declared to him. He showed his true self and how happy he was to be apart of this crazy situation in a small market. Oklahoma City will not only give Russell Westbrook a chance to win, they will give him all the love he can take from them.
August 4th, 2016, a day in which the major of Oklahoma has officially declared to be “Russell Westbrook Day.”
— Mick Cornett (@MickCornett) August 4, 2016