What You Didn’t Know About Russell Westbrook

Professional basketball player Russell Westbrook is one of the top-ranking players in the NBA. To date, the point guard has played in a dozen seasons and is currently in his 13th season playing for the Washington Wizards. But for most of his career, he’s played for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Despite being one of the best basketball players today (via Bleacher Report), Westbrook has yet to win an NBA championship, and several of his critics and sports analysts believe that he may never attain one, per Fadeaway World. Some blame his attitude, and others say it’s his style of play. But only time will tell if Westbrook will actually earn a title before deciding to hang up his jersey. The 32-year-old likely has a few more seasons left in him.

The NBA star was born Russell Westbrook III in Long Beach, California, on November 12, 1988. His parents are Russell Westbrook Jr. and Shannon Horton, and he’s the oldest of two boys. As a teenager he played basketball at Leuzinger High School in Lawndale before playing college ball at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). From there, he went on to the pros, and he’s been since. But there’s a few other things people might want to know about this unique player.

Westbrook never wore the jersey of the NBA team that drafted him

Russell Westbrook was drafted as the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NBA Drafts. The team that picked him was the Seattle Supersonics, which no longer exists. Just a little over a week after getting drafted, the team was sold and then moved to Oklahoma. So even though Westbrook held the defunct team’s famed green, yellow, and white jersey at the draft ceremony, he never actually got a chance to wear it in his basketball season debut. By then, the team was in a new city and state and was called the Oklahoma City Thunder (or OKC Thunder). And of course, they had a completely different team color. The franchise’s colors of blue, navy blue, orange, yellow, and white would be the color Westbrook would be most recognized in. Because it would be the team where he’d spend a bulk of his basketball career.

His wife was also a basketball player

Westbrook is the father of three children with his wife Nina. The couple got married in 2015 and had a son named Noah, born in 2017. Later they became the parents to twins after the birth of their daughters, Skye and Jordan, in 2018 (via USA Today). Though she’s retired and a full-time mother, once upon a time she also played basketball. And she played at none other than UCLA as well. It was where the couple first met and started dating. But unlike her husband, Mrs. Westbrook never went pro. Even though she was quite a player — having played in close to half of all games her freshman year and scored double-digit points by senior year — her basketball career ended at the college level. Instead of joining a league, she chose entrepreneurship and runs several businesses, one of which is an Oklahoma City-based children’s fashion boutique called The Little Ark.

He's the tallest member of his family

Russell Westbrook definitely got lucky with his family gene pool as he is the tallest member of his immediate family at 6 feet, 3 inches tall. Even though it’s a common assumption to believe that tall people usually have tall parents too, that is not always the case. In Westbrook’s family, he towers over his close relatives. His father is 5 feet, 8 inches, his mother stands at 5 feet, 7 inches, and his little brother is 5 feet, 6 inches tall (via How They Play). The one family member that is somewhat close to Westbrook’s height is his wife Nina, who stands at 6 feet, 1 inch tall, says her UCLA player profile. And if you add heels to the equation, perhaps sometimes the couple is at equal height. Or maybe she can tower over him. Nevertheless, Westbrook is probably used to being the tallest person in his family as he has been for some time now.

Westbrook is internet meme gold

One of the advents of social media are the memes, and anything and anyone can turn into one if it’s funny enough. Russell Westbrook is no stranger to this because so many of the basketball player’s moments have turned into some of the web’s most iconic memes and gifs. One of his more popular memes is his reaction to a post-game interview question (posted on YouTube), to which he responds with an offended look and says “What” in an annoyed tone (pictured above). The video has been captioned and turned into multiple gifs since the footage first landed on the net in 2013. 

Another one of his most known memes is from 2017, when he sarcastically (and hilariously) responded to a statement about a career milestone with: “Ahh, that’s interesting.” Those three simple words must’ve identified strongly with NBA fans, and another famous Westbrook meme was born. In a cool acknowledgement of his internet-meme status, Westbrook recently recreated that same meme just last month in a recent press conference, per NBC Sports. And that’s not all. As The Undefeated points it out, he has so many more memes. These golden moments often happen during his post-game interviews, and they’re so common that you can find compilations of them all over the internet.

He has had multiple right-sided surgeries

A career in sports can guarantee an injury at some point. Westbrook has had his fair share of those as one could expect. Unfortunately for him, a lot of these surgeries have mostly been on his knees, reports The Oklahoman. It all started in 2013 when he underwent his very first surgery on his right knee. He would have surgery in that right knee later again that year, and once more, having a total of three knee procedures all in 2013. It cost him several games as well. But interestingly enough, it seems as if the right side of his body tends to attract most of his injuries. 

Westbrook had a surgery in his right hand in 2014, and the following year a procedure to repair his right cheekbone. He’d have a surgery-free streak for a considerable time until that right knee needed some looking at again in 2018. However, that right-sided injury trend changed a bit when in 2019, he needed surgery in his left hand, but he also went through a surgical process for his right knee once more, per Slam Online.

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