Houston Rockets star guard Russell Westbrook has become one of the top players in the NBA. Westbrook has worked his way into being recognized as an elite talent behind his tremendous skill set and athletic ability. However, it wasn’t always like that as he had his doubts about reaching the league altogether.
Russell Westbrook’s NBA career
Russell Westbrook entered the NBA with plenty of promise and hype for what he could become.
Westbrook has far exceeded that by becoming one of the league’s top players over his first decade. He’s a bonafide superstar talent that has shown the ability to be a game-changing factor in any given play. That has worked him to garner an MVP award, nine All-Star selections, two All-NBA First team nods, five All-NBA Second Team nominations, and an All-NBA Third Team nod.
The star point guard has become a walking triple-double threat in every game behind his dynamic ability. He has experienced his shortcomings with injuries, but that hasn’t diverted him from being one of the most explosive offensive talents in the league. Before Westbrook ever graced the NBA floor, it was a pathway that he didn’t believe he could reach.
Russell Westbrook didn’t believe he could make the NBA
Russell Westbrook’s path to the NBA was quite interesting as he was viewed as a three-star recruit coming out of Leuzinger High School.
Westbrook was a raw basketball prospect that wasn’t anywhere near the physical specimen he’s now today standing at 5-foot-8 and 140 pounds. He remained hopeful that he could pursue a basketball career, but as he stated in an interview with Graham Bensinger, reaching the NBA didn’t become a realistic goal until after his freshman year at UCLA.
“Honestly that goal didn’t come to me until after my first year at UCLA. I didn’t think I was going to make it pro. My only concern was growing up in the inner city that I just didn’t want my parents to pay for me to go to school.”
Westbrook was more than an athlete behind his academic success with a 3.9 GPA in high school, which gave him the confidence to find another career if basketball didn’t work out. He took full advantage of his time at UCLA behind his scholarship by showing flashes of promise over his two years before jumping to the NBA.
That earned him the fourth pick in the 2008 draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he developed into one of the game’s top point guards. His drive at his craft has pushed him to great heights, which his journey to the league has only further fueled his passion for the game.
Aiming for first NBA title
Russell Westbrook has made the most of the opportunity to play in the NBA, which has found him much success.
However, Westbrook continues to have an NBA title elude him so far in his career. He reached the NBA Finals once with the Oklahoma City Thunder and has had several other opportunities a championship run. Westbrook looks to have a promising chance with the Rockets to contend this season.
He was worked well alongside fellow former league MVP James Harden in guiding the franchise to one of the best records in the Western Conference. The Rockets are pegged as one of the top threats to come out of the West alongside the LA Lakers, LA Clippers, Utah Jazz, and Denver Nuggets. Nonetheless, it’s another prime opportunity for Westbrook to win his first NBA title finally.