Russell Westbrook bids farewell to Oklahoma City with Instagram post

With the fourth pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, the Seattle SuperSonics selected Russell Westbrook.

Eleven years later -- and without having played a game in Seattle -- Westbrook is bidding farewell to Oklahoma City, the only NBA home he has ever known.

After the shocking trade that sent the eight-time NBA All-Star to Houston in exchange for Chris Paul, Westbrook is taking to social media to thank the fans, the Thunder organization and his coaches and teammates for their support during his time in OKC.

View this post on Instagram

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

A post shared by Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) on

Westbrook, along with Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and once-again teammate James Harden formed the core of a young team that was perfect for the organization when it moved from the Pacific Northwest to the Plains, and also great for the NBA, in having an exciting winner in a new city. During Westbrook's 11-season tenure in Oklahoma City, the Thunder made the playoffs nine times, advancing to the NBA Finals in 2012, and falling in the Western Conference finals on three other occasions. 

The 2016-17 NBA MVP, Westbrook leaves Oklahoma City as the team's all-time leader in points, rebounds, assists and steals since the franchise moved to Oklahoma City, and he is the leading scorer over the 52 years of the Sonics/Thunder franchise.

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