Blog Entry

Russell Westbrook gets $80 million extension

Posted on: January 19, 2012 1:10 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 3:50 pm
  •  
 
Posted by Ben Golliver russell-westbrook-smile

The second All-Star has been locked up.

Yahoo Sports reports with confirmation from Ken Berger of CBSSports.com that the Oklahoma City Thunder have signed All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook to a 5-year extension worth $80 million.
All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook has signed a five-year, $80 million contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

Thunder general manager Sam Presti finalized the deal with Westbrook’s agent, Thad Foucher of Wasserman Media Group, on Wednesday night. The Thunder will hold a news conference when the team returns to Oklahoma City on Sunday.
SI.com confirmed the deal's terms.

The Thunder formally announced the signing in a press release later Thursday.
“We are thrilled to solidify Russell's future with the Thunder,” said [GM Sam] Presti. “Since we arrived in Oklahoma City, Russell's work ethic, persistence, character, and involvement in our community have helped us establish the standards that we are committed to on a day-to-day basis. He is a valued member of our organization and we look forward to his continued contributions on and off the floor.”

“We are very excited that Russell will continue to be a part of the Thunder organization,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Clay Bennett. “He has demonstrated high personal character, a strong commitment to his teammates and a remarkable dedication to the development of his performance as a player. We especially value his role in the community as he has consistently represented "Oklahoma City Basketball" with pride and integrity.”
Westbrook, 23, is an elite point guard in the NBA, boasting athleticism and explosiveness that few can match.

After making his first All-Star appearance in 2011, Westbrook is averaging 20.5 points, 5.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. He was recently named as one of 20 finalists for the 2012 Olympics' Team USA. Westbrook was named to the 2009 All-Rookie first team and the 2011 All-NBA second team.

All-Star forward Kevin Durant and Westbrook represent arguably the best young 1-2 punch in the NBA. The Thunder inked Durant to a 5-year max extension in 2010. The pair led the Thunder to the Western Conference Finals in 2011.

Westbrook was selected with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft after spending two seasons at UCLA. Known for his competitiveness and fiery demeanor, Westbrook has received criticism for his shot-selection, turnovers and temper, especially during the 2011 playoffs, but his importance to Oklahoma City's long-term plans was never in question. Neither, really, was the size of his pay day. It's difficult to perform better during your rookie deal than Westbrook has in his 3+ seasons with the Thunder.

Oklahoma City currently holds the best record in the Western Conference at 12-3.
  •  
Comments

Since: Sep 8, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2012 3:21 am
 

Russell Westbrook gets $80 million extension

And Bennett did NOT leave the Sonics colors, etc behind - that was another HUGE point of contention
Wrong. Consider reading this:  Bennett paid $75 million to buy out of the lease with the City of Seattle, and had to agree to leave the colors, and the name 'Sonics' or 'SuperSonics' behind. He did, however, take the team's history, as far as the NBA Championship they won, team records, etc.


People love to toss out the "they built stadiums for the mariners and Seahawks' argumente, but ALWAYS fail to acknowledge that Keyt Arena had been completely redone - to the NBA's specifications, nine years earlier
Maybe the reason people mention that argument is because it's true. Call me crazy. Just because you remodeled KeyArena in 1995 does not mean it's still up to NBA standards in 2006. Stern came to the Washington Legislature and flat-out told you guys this. 


there were local buyers that wanted the team and he sold to Bennett who took total advantage of the situation - with Stern's guidance and blessing.
Wrong. Steve Ballmer was speculated to make an offer, but none came. No other local offers came either. None. Schultz wasn't waiting for one either, which is the real point. No one in Seattle wanted to buy the team due to the money-losing arena and the terrible lease with the City. See the relationship of 'cause and effect' for why no one wanted to catch a falling knife for a team locked into a money-losing situation for more insight.


You guys need to know the facts better
So do you. I corrected the guy that said the Sonics moved do to poor attendance. He was wrong. I am right on everything I'm saying, though. You have gotten all sorts of things wrong, and either the rest of the world is wrong, or you, sadly, are. Why do I get the feeling you would have never mentioned Howard Schultz (and you still never mentioned Nickels) had I not posted?


The funny thing is that the people who defend bennett and his ilk the loudest on here endlessly gloss over the carnage and facts and, laughably, love to say 'Seattle didn't support the team' or 'Seattle should've just built Bennett a 500 million dollar arena (that was his demand - and he wanted it built on private land that was not even for sale, nor in the city of Seattle - thus making his demand IMPOSSIBLE to even fulfill
It's his team. He bought it, remember? He shelled out $350 million for it. He can do what he wants with it. The Sonics were not a public utility. They're a sports team that can be bought and sold like anything else. Schultz was trying to make the same demand Bennett was. Both were ignored. That's why Schultz got so fed up and sold, remember? Funny how if Washington had approved say a $350 million arena deal, Bennett would have been in a real mess. He would have been stuck in Seattle, and he would have to wait much longer to get to OKC. There were several arena scenarios, yet you only mention one that's "impossible" but what about the one on the Indian land, Boeing, or any other site? Down in Renton?  About the only thing you're right on is it was impossible that the Legislature was going to approve anything, and that, sir, is why the team was sold in the first place. This 'impossible' arena stuff is the same exact smoke screen Seattle fans come up with that cause the casual fan to be distracted by the real issue - Seattle needed a new area with revenue-producing streams such as luxury boxes, far more restaurants, bars, and other amenities, and more seats than KeyArena had. They were warned by Stern and Schultz repeatedly, then warned by Bennett. They did nothing. It takes two to tango. Legislature didn't tango, and that's sometimes the price of democracy. Too many in Seattle thought the team would never move regardless of what they did, and they were tired of paying for arenas. Elections have consequences.


Damn, read up on the story to know what really happened.
I have. 


Enjoy the Thunder. 
Thanks. Hope you get a new version of the Sonics someday. Would obviously be one heck of a rivalry to see the Sonics and Thunder play, huh? Get a new arena, the same thing you have been told since 2006, and let's make it happen.





Since: Jul 31, 2008
Posted on: January 20, 2012 5:59 pm
 

Russell Westbrook gets $80 million extension

oh yes - plenty of blame to go around, for sure. People love to toss out the "they built stadiums for the mariners and Seahawks' argumente, but ALWAYS fail to acknowledge that Keyt Arena had been completely redone - to the NBA's specifications, nine years earlier. No city can afford top just endlessly buld arena's - that is simply not fiscally doable.  I loathe schultz - he's the ultimate devil in all of this - there were local buyers that wanted the team and he sold to Bennett who took total advantage of the situation - with Stern's guidance and blessing.   What people want to also ignore is how Bennett destroyed the team in Seattle, intentionally alienated the fanbase and then had the gall to claim 'the team wasn't being supported'.  He's the one that created that situation.  The team did fine for 40 years before him.

And Bennett did NOT leave the Sonics colors, etc behind - that was another HUGE point of contention. He was even trying to retire Gary Payton's jersey and hang it in OKC and Payton told him absolutely not!  You guys need to know the facts better - say all you want about embittered Sonics fans - we are absolutely embittered about it. At least get the story straight.   The funny thing is that the people who defend bennett and his ilk the loudest on here endlessly gloss over the carnage and facts and, laughably, love to say 'Seattle didn't support the team' or 'Seattle should've just built Bennett a 500 million dollar arena (that was his demand - and he wanted it built on private land that was not even for sale, nor in the city of Seattle - thus making his demand IMPOSSIBLE to even fulfill.  Damn, read up on the story to know what really happened.

Geez, all I post is he'd look good in green and gold and other folks stir the pot up with totally innacurate statements. Meet the new boss; same as the old boss. 

Enjoy the Thunder. 



Since: Sep 8, 2007
Posted on: January 20, 2012 1:27 pm
 

Russell Westbrook gets $80 million extension

But see, auroraave, you should still blame Schultz and Nickels, and like a typical Seattle fan, you blame Stern and Bennett instead. What else would you expect an ownership group from Oklahoma City to do other than what they did? They were in the driver's seat, and they fully were aware of it. Everyone knew it, except the dopes in Seattle apparently. Who put Bennett in the driver's seat? Howard Schultz. You can't force a guy to sell an asset. Schultz made that choice by his own free will to sell the Sonics, and also chose to sell to the OKC group. So he's really 0-for-2 in loyalty to Seattle. Then, your mayor lets the Sonics buy out of their lease with the city for admittedly millions of bucks to pave the way for them to leave? Talk about a major whiff on his part, eh? Without the actions of Schutlz and Nickels, the Sonics would still be in Seattle today.  

As far as the taxpayer-funded arena, the Seahawks and Mariners got them. Schultz tried for years to get assistance for a new arena, and the Washington politicians said 'no' repeatedly. A sports team is a privilege, not a right. The NBA is an exclusive club. A sports team is not an entitlement. Seattle found that out the hard way.

When Bennett changed the name from 'Sonics' to the 'Thunder' he left the name 'Sonics' and the logos, the green/gold combo behind in case Seattle wants back into that NBA exclusive club. What will it take for the Sonics to be reborn? Yep, a new arena. The same thing they were arguing about in 2005. Maybe someone in Seattle will finally figure it out someday, because even as a Thunder fan, I'd love to see a new version of the Sonics be reborn in Seattle. Doesn't have to be a taxpayer-funded arena either, perhaps some tech titans like Ballmer can contribute. Or it can be partially taxpayer funded. Bottom line: You need a new arena. Until you get one, the Sonics will cease to exist.

So again, the Seattle fans did get screwed, but it was the people in Seattle that screwed them. Big business is big business. When you make a conscious choice to sell your NBA team to someone who desperately wants an NBA team in his own state, your conscious choice has consequences.




Since: Dec 27, 2010
Posted on: January 20, 2012 1:10 pm
 

Russell Westbrook gets $80 million extension

Northtowntv. It is obvious you don't follow the NBA if you don't know who Russell Westbrook is. How about college? You know who UCLA is? This is a great move by Oklahoma City. He is a bit of a head case but he is locked in and if he doesn't work out there will be a team out there ready to pony up in a trade. This guarantees either he contributes or Thunder gets something in return if he doesn't. No Carmelo situation, or Howard situation now.



Since: Aug 5, 2008
Posted on: January 20, 2012 1:02 pm
 

Russell Westbrook gets $80 million extension

Holy crap, when are people in Seattle going to grow up and turn the page? Jeez people, get a life.



Since: Jul 31, 2008
Posted on: January 20, 2012 1:00 pm
 

Russell Westbrook gets $80 million extension

auroraave, if you wanted the sonics to stay in seattle then maybe you and your friends should have gone to the games. The thunder went 23-59 their first year in OKC, and it was STILL a 78% increase from the previous year in seattle. OKC was 11th in the league in attendance that year and has been somehwere between 11th and 13th in attendance every year since.

Seattle is the 23 largest city in the US, yet had the 3rd lowest attendance their last year in seattle. Im not talking s*it, im just stating facts. Its easy to stopp going to games because your teams not winning, but true fans are there every night. Win or lose, in OKC we show up and support our team.


LMAO!  Dude - you aren't even close to the facts.   Seattle is a top 15 metro area.  Do you know why the Sonics attendance was down? Because Bennett and his ilk made it clear they were moving the team, proceeded to gut the Sonics of all their talent, took the games off the radio station they'd been on for 30 years, enforced a media blackout so the players couldn't express thier desire to stay in Seattle, which they did until Bennett issued the media blackout, they stopped advertiseng the games and discontinued promotions.  You cant't have it both ways: intentionally driving away customers and then complaining when no one is showing up. Laughable and predictable.  It's pretty funny that you think having good attendance in a teams first year in a new city is some kind of novelty. I mean - what else would you expect?  It doesn't make sense to think it would be otherwise.


   Bennett did everythign in his power to drive the fans away - including fielding the worst team in the history of the franchise - and he did it at the expense of the SEattle fans.  THEN he acted like their was no fan support. People stopped supporting Bennett because he made it crystal clear he was moving the team.   They were a playoff team when he bought them - then he blew them up. You would've done the exact same thing.

Yup - Seattle needs a new arena for sure - but not at the taxpayers expense.  Not in this economic landscape, that's just silly.  Bennett and Stern knew Seattle  would not publicly finance an arean - nor should they have.  Now look at bthe landscape of the NBA - more than half are losing money and the league is a wreck.  Good for OKC for supporting the team - they should. Presti is great. But just remember; Seattle fans paid the price so OKC could have a team. Enjoy them.  I live in LA now and still have a Sonics license plate frame on my car - I people still stop me from all over the country to tell me Seattle got screwed and how much they always thought the Sonics were a cool team.  Yup.


  



Since: Sep 8, 2007
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:30 am
 

Russell Westbrook gets $80 million extension

Money well spent. Keeping Russ in OKC for 5 years will reap dividends. Durant/Westbrook tandem is a serious force. Hopefully the Thunder will sign Harden to a long-term deal, too. 

Regarding the Sonics thing, Seattle knows what they need to do to get a version of the Sonics back: Build a new arena commensurate to NBA standards. It had nothing to do with the fan attendance. The fan attendance through the years was always good, or at least above average, or at the very least no worse than any other NBA team. That was not the problem. It was their arena and lease, combined with government apathy and ignorance to the problem. The people of Seattle and Washington state overall are guilty of a laissez-faire apathy and disbelief the Sonics would ever leave under any circumstances, and they are suffering the consequences. 

People like Starbucks CEO and Seattle resident Howard Schutlz, who sold the team to OKC owners, as well as Seattle's Mayor, Greg Nickels, who allowed the Sonics to buy their way out of the lease, are the people Seattle should blame. When shiny, sparkling new arenas sit idly in Kansas City and Oklahoma City, Seattle should have simply ponied up the cash to keep them in town. They did not. 

Look at it from Schultz's point of view:  Taxpayer funded new, spacious arenas with revenue-producing luxury boxes for the Seahawks and Mariners, but the Sonics don't get squat. That's a major reason why Schultz sold, and when he made the decision to sell to an ownership group from OKC who had just lost out on getting a majority stake in the Hornets and clearly want a team in OKC, Seattle should have taken notice. They did not. 

The rest, as they say, is history. 

  
  



Since: May 30, 2007
Posted on: January 20, 2012 10:01 am
 

Russell Westbrook gets $80 million extension

I don't follow the NBA like I used to but this guy just got an $80 million extension and I have never heard of him...good for him, bad for NBA basketball.



Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: January 20, 2012 7:20 am
 

Russell Westbrook gets $80 million extension

auroraave, if you wanted the sonics to stay in seattle then maybe you and your friends should have gone to the games. The thunder went 23-59 their first year in OKC, and it was STILL a 78% increase from the previous year in seattle. OKC was 11th in the league in attendance that year and has been somehwere between 11th and 13th in attendance every year since.

Seattle is the 23 largest city in the US, yet had the 3rd lowest attendance their last year in seattle. Im not talking s*it, im just stating facts. Its easy to stopp going to games because your teams not winning, but true fans are there every night. Win or lose, in OKC we show up and support our team.





Since: Jan 19, 2012
Posted on: January 19, 2012 8:51 pm
 

Russell Westbrook gets $80 million extension

Hey, I just wrote this article discussing the Westbrook signing and criticizing Skip Bayless' stance that this was a poor signing. If you have a minute, check it out. It would be much appreciated. http://11-on-11.blogspot.com/2012/0

1/russell-westbrook-contract-extens

ion.html


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com