Russell Westbrook thanks fans, OKC in farewell post
NBA.com Global on Jul 13, 2019 07:39 AM
ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 29: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks on before the game against the Orlando Magic on January 29, 2019 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
Russell Westbrook said his goodbyes to Oklahoma City in a heartfelt message on Instagram one day after reports surfaced that the 2017 Kia MVP was being traded to Houston.
Westbrook has spent his entire 11-year career with the Thunder and said "it's been a dream" to play for the franchise.
Here's the full post:
I can’t even begin to put into words all of the emotions I have right now. It’s been one heck of a journey Oklahoma! When I came here, I was 18 years old, bright eyed, and completely unaware of all the amazing things that would soon take place. I grew up in Oklahoma with an amazing bunch of people. The people here are what makes this place so special. From the fans, my coaches, my teammates, the entire Thunder organization, Mr. Bennett, Sam Presti, my friends, and everyone in the entire community. You are all what makes Oklahoma such a beautiful place, and the reason I’ve loved playing here all of this time. You have supported me through all of the ups and the downs, and stood by me through the good times, and tough times. For that I am eternally grateful to you. I’ve met so many amazing people who have helped shape me into the man that I am today. I hope I have impacted the Oklahoma community as much as Oklahoma has made an impact on me and my family. I’m leaving Oklahoma with so many friends and so much gratitude. I could never thank you all enough for sticking with me. It’s been a dream and a whirlwind. #WHYNOT
Westbrook, who was the only remaining player from the Thunder's first season in Oklahoma City after the franchise moved from Seattle in 2008, logged his third consecutive season averaging a triple-double (22.9 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 10.7 apg).
The All-Star guard will rejoin forces with his old Thunder teammate James Harden in Houston, setting up one of the best backcourts in the NBA. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City moves on with an avalanche of first-round picks as the franchise embarks on a new direction. The Thunder also received Chris Paul in the Westbrook deal -- per reports -- but his future with the team remains unknown.