Who is Russell Westbrook?
Russell Westbrook III is a prolific American basketball player who plays for the ‘Houston Rockets’ of the ‘NBA.’ Hailing from a sports family, he started exhibiting his skills when he was just a kid. From winning the biggest honors while playing in college, to becoming one of the most prominent ‘NBA’ stars, Russell has come a long way. He began his ‘NBA’ career in 2008 when he was drafted by the ‘Seattle SuperSonics,’ which was later renamed ‘Oklahoma City Thunder.’ Trained strenuously by his father Russell Westbrook Sr., Russell Jr. dedicated most of his childhood to the game. Russell’s talent and skills made him an integral part of the American basketball team, and he represented the United States in the 2010 ‘FIBA World Championship’ and the 2012 ‘Olympics.’ In both these tournaments, he helped his team win a gold medal. In 2017, Westbrook became the second player in basketball history to secure the most number of triple doubles in a particular ‘NBA’ season. Apart from his basketball career, Russell has also launched an eye-gear brand, and continues to display his interest in the fashion world.
Childhood & Early Life
Russell Westbrook was born on 12 November 1988, in Long Beach, California, USA, to Shannon Horton and Russell Westbrook. Soon after his birth, the Westbrook family moved to Los Angeles. He and his younger brother Raynard were trained by their father. Russell Westbrook Sr. used to set up drills in order to make his sons learn the nuances of the game.
He studied at ‘Leuzinger High School.’ His mother made sure the boys performed well academically, despite spending a lot of time in playing basketball. With a tall and muscular physique, and a ‘unique’ fashion sense, Westbrook caught the attention of many during his high school days.
According to Russell, the biggest turning point of his life was the death of his friend and teammate Khelcey Barrs III. They both shared a good rapport and Russell was deeply affected by his death. As a result, he started training harder, and soon became a favorite player in high school. Eventually, he made it to the college basketball team.
He played well throughout his ‘UCLA’ career, and his explosive game helped his team take the final four positions in two seasons. He received his big break in 2008 when he became the fourth overall pick in the ‘NBA’ draft.
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Drafted by Oklahoma, Russell Westbrook showed a glimpse of his talent in 2009 when he scored his very first triple double. Eventually, he became part of the season’s ‘NBA All Rookie First Team,’ and was placed at number four in the line-up. During Oklahoma’s second season, his team got eliminated in the first round after losing to ‘Los Angeles Lakers.’ However, Russell cemented his place in the team with an average of 16.1 points per game.
In the 2011 ‘Western Conference Tournament,’ he played a big role in helping his team reach the finals. In the same year, the coaches included him in the team for the 2012 ‘NBA All Star Game.’ Thanks to his exuberant performance, his team reached the finals for the first time since the franchise was reintroduced. Westbrook ended the 2012-2013 season with an average of 23.2 points, 7.4 assists, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game, which was magnificent.
Due to a knee injury, he missed the first two games of the 2013-14 season. In his comeback match against ‘New York Knicks,’ he scored 14 points and helped his team achieve an impressive win. Russell went for arthroscopic surgery soon after the game, and made a comeback in February 2014. The surgery broke his long-term streak of never missing a game for his team in a regular season.
In a match against ‘New Orleans Pelicans’ in 2015, Westbrook broke his previous career high record of 45 points by scoring 48 points. In the same year, he returned to the ‘All Star Tournament’ after a long hiatus due to surgeries. He scored 41 points and was later named the ‘All Star MVP.’ Thereafter, he went on a dream run in which he scored six triple doubles in just eight games. Although his team was eliminated from the playoffs, Westbrook played incredibly well and averaged 28 points per game.
In the 2015-16 season, he scored 18 triple doubles, a record which was previously held by Magic Johnson. He also achieved 18 triple doubles. In the 2016-17 season, Westbrook managed to achieve his third career 50 point triple doubles, and became the first player in ‘NBA’ history to achieve the feat.
Russell Westbrook was part of the American basketball team during the 2010 ‘FIBA Championship,’ which was held in Turkey. A lot was expected from him as he had already made a name for himself. However, he failed to live up to the expectations. Despite his poor form, the USA won the tournament, and it was the first trophy victory since 1994.
Due to personal reasons, Westbrook turned down the offer to represent his team at the 2016 ‘Olympics.’
Along with his persona on and off the court, Russell Westbrook carries with him an impeccable sense for fashion. His eye-gear line ‘Westbrook Frames’ was launched in the year 2014 and has achieved moderate success.
His collaboration with ‘Barneys Store,’ a luxury department store in New York City, has also been quite fruitful. His colorful persona has also helped him gain a cult status among his fans.
In 2015, Westbrook tied the knot with his long-time girlfriend Nina Earl. In 2017, the couple welcomed a baby boy, and named him Noah Westbrook.
Westbrook’s admiration for his late high school friend Khelcey Barrs has led him to wear the ‘KB3 band’ on his wrist and sneakers.
Due to his keen interest in fashion, Westbrook has attended the New York and Paris fashion weeks.
In 2018, Westbrook and Nina Earl welcomed their twin daughters.
As of 2019, Russell Westbrook’s net worth is $125 million.