HoopsHype Russell Westbrook rumors

November 4, 2013 Updates

Westbrook was announced last in the starting lineup tonight instead of his customary first spot. Instead, KD went first, instead of his customary last spot. According to a team official, Durant requested to have Westbrook go last tonight, though when asked about it after the game, KD said he didn’t. DailyThunder.com

Brooks on Jackson and Westbrook together: “They’ve both become dynamic players on the offensive end. One of your guards is usually going to be a 2-guard, and you’re going to have to pick who you’re going to guard with. Guarding a point in this league if you’re not a point is hard. For whatever reason, that step over is tough. And they’re both great pick-and-roll players and I trust Russell’s ability to guard any 1s, 2s or 3s in this league with the exception of a few. And they’re both great defensive rebounders for their position.” DailyThunder.com

November 3, 2013 Updates
October 30, 2013 Updates

Seconds before a media relations staffer drew back the curtain separating reporters from the tail end of the Thunder’s shootaround Wednesday morning, Russell Westbrook, wearing a gray sweat suit, ducked into the team’s locker room. Moments later, coaches and teammates then ducked questions about Westbrook reportedly being ahead of schedule in his rehab and nearing a return within the next two weeks. “I read the report,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks, referring to a Yahoo! Sports story citing league sources saying Westbrook has made significant progress and could return to the lineup within two weeks. “It’s something that I haven’t focused on. He has to continue to go through his rehab. And once he gets medical clearance to play in a game, that will happen. Until then, we’re just focusing on day-to-day as a group.” Oklahoman

Kevin Durant politely sidestepped questions about Westbrook’s return as well. “I don’t know if I can say or not how I feel,” Durant said when asked if he thinks Westbrook is closer to a return. But he looks good. Like I said, I don’t know the timetables or what the doctors are saying, but he looks good to me. Russell put in a lot of work, so I expected him to look like this. So we’ll see when he gets back out there. We’re waiting for him.” Oklahoman

October 29, 2013 Updates
October 24, 2013 Updates
October 22, 2013 Updates

Kendrick Perkins, returning from a dislocated left ring finger, was back and is expected to play Tuesday against Phoenix. But the headliner was All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook, who participated in on-court drills with the team for the first time since he had arthroscopic surgery earlier this month. “There were bits and pieces where Russell participated in practice, so that was good,” coach Scott Brooks said. “It was good to get everybody out there, working together.” In recent weeks, Westbrook has been seen on the court during the portion of practice open to the media, going through light workouts with the Thunder training staff. But on Monday, he apparently amped it up. And even in that brief setting, Reggie Jackson, the man who is replacing Westbrook in the starting lineup, seemed to be impressed. “Oh, man. Russell today…” Jackson said when asked how Westbrook looked, cracking a sly smile. “It’s actually funny. My brother and his brother talk a little before games. His brother told mine that Russell’s probably bouncing better than ever. I had to see it to believe it. One of the dunks (today), he went up and looked like the old Russell, plus some, head at the rim. We’ll be happy when he gets back fully healthy, but it’s good to see him with a smile on his face, being about the team, bouncing back and happy to be back on the court.” Oklahoman

October 21, 2013 Updates

For the first time since training camp started, the Thunder had its full complement of players for at least a portion of Monday’s practice. Kendrick Perkins, returning from a dislocated left ring finger, was back and is expected to play Tuesday against Phoenix. But the headliner was All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook, who participated in on-court drills with the team for the first time since he had arthroscopic surgery earlier this month. Oklahoman

“Oh, man. Russell today…” Jackson said when asked how Westbrook looked, cracking a sly smile. “It’s actually funny. My brother and his brother talk a little before games. His brother told mine that Russell’s probably bouncing better than ever. I had to see it to believe it. One of the dunks (today), he went up and looked like the old Russell, plus some, head at the rim. We’ll be happy when he gets back fully healthy, but it’s good to see him with a smile on his face, being about the team, bouncing back and happy to be back on the court.” Oklahoman

October 17, 2013 Updates
October 13, 2013 Updates

Greg Anthony and Chris Webber offered their thoughts on those topics and more, and here is a taste of what they said: Webber on whether Thunder guard Russell Westbrook can return to form after a torn meniscus in his right knee, which has required two surgeries since last spring, the latest to reduce swelling: “Westbrook is one of the most athletic guys in the league and I think his age is his best asset right now. He didn’t have to go through microfracture [surgery]. We’ve seen people come back from these injuries so I expect him to be the same person or better basically because of his attitude. I really don’t think it will affect him that much.” Boston Globe

Webber said while he believes Westbrook will come back strongly, he doesn’t consider Oklahoma City ready to compete for the NBA title. “I never viewed them as the favorite last year, even with him,” said Webber. “I think this is a different league and each team is going to have to reevaluate, not live off the past. This is a much different league than it was last year, so I think they need to worry about the other great teams in the Western Conference. It’s a year later but [James] Harden was in the discussion a year ago and they are not better without Harden. Losing Kevin Martin as well, they have to find a new identity.” Boston Globe

Anthony on Cousins: “From a talent standpoint and ability standpoint, DeMarcus Cousins doesn’t take a backseat to anybody at the center position in the NBA. The question is whether he’s going to mature to the point where he can take advantage of that ability. What separates the good guys from the great guys is their mental makeup. That’s going to be the challenge for DeMarcus, and I would suspect DeMarcus would tell you that himself. That’s where his real growth is going to come. It’s not from his basketball talent; it’s from his mental makeup. If he matures and becomes the pro his talent dictates, Sacramento is going to have an anchor on that frontline for years to come.” Boston Globe

October 7, 2013 Updates
October 2, 2013 Updates

Building for sustainability. Not giving in to shortcuts. Expand your chances for success, rather than condensing your chances. Presti admitted that the difference in Westbrook missing as many as 23 games is the difference between a No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and a No. 3 seed. Or even a No. 5 seed. But, Presti said, “That’s why we built the organization the way we did. It doesn’t end our world.” Oklahoman

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.