Russel Westbrook is an American professional basketball player who is currently playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. He is an NBA Most Valuable Player and an Olympic medalist. Westbrook stands 6’3” tall and is recognized as one of the most athletic players in the league.
Westbrook was born in Longbeach, California, but he grew up in Hawthorne. While studying in Leuzinger High School, he only became a member of the varsity during his junior year. He was later recruited by the University of California – Los Angeles where he was instrumental in bringing UCLA to the Final Four twice.
In the 2008 NBA draft, he was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics which then became the Oklahoma City Thunder after a couple of days. Westbrook celebrated a career milestone in 2009 as he had his first triple double with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists.
He became a starter during his second year with the team. Westbrook helped the team more than double their victories and even make the playoffs. He also improved his regular season performance with an average of 20.5 points per game.
Recording a career-high score of 43 points on November 2010 in a game against the Indiana Pacers, Westbrook continued to reach new milestones. He was also chosen to appear in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game as reserve. While the team had a good run in the season, they lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals.
In a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 2012, Westbrook scored another career high with 45 points. For the first time since the franchise was relocated to Oklahoma City, the Thunder reached the NBA Finals but lost to Miami Heat. Westbrook became the only player, along with Michael Jordan, to record more than 25 points and more than 10 assists in an NBA Finals debut.
He was instrumental in helping the Thunder become the number 1 seed in the Western Conference and in reaching the playoffs in the 2012-2013 Season. However, he was unable to play as he was recovering for a surgery that repaired an injury to his right meniscus. He had another surgery on his knee at the beginning of the 2013-2014 Season.
For the rest of the season, Westbrook only played limited minutes. However, he was still able to record his second triple-double on March 2014. The Thunder was able to make it to the Western Conference Finals as the second seed. While the Thunder lost the series to the Spurs, Westbrook became the only other player aside from Michael Jordan to record 40 points, 10 assists, 5 steals, and 5 rebounds during a playoff game.