Russell Westbrook made a decision for the sake of the Rockets that he didn’t have to do at all. Here are my takeways from “The Brodie” helping the Rockets out.
Russell Westbrook, oh the selfish player. He’s never won anything and it’s solely his fault, not to mention the fact that he pads his stats and chases triple doubles. I hope you can detect the sarcasm. For one I’ve previously written about how he’s already proving his doubters wrong before playing a single game for the Rockets, but also the narrative of The Brodie being selfish is just not true at all.
According to Mark Stein of the New York Times, Westbrook modified his contract to help facilitate a trade to the Rockets, which comes as no surprise to me. To be clear, he’s still getting the same 124 million he is owed in total over the next 3 years but he’s modified his contract to where the Rockets won’t have to pay him as much up front. The decision to make the contract less front loaded really helps a Rockets team that was already capped out due to the contracts of James Harden, Clint Capela, and Eric Gordon in addition to Westbrook’s.
It’s a big picture move by Westbrook, as the up-front payments won’t be as much as the initial agreed upon contract he signed with Oklahoma City, but he will still receive the same amount of money throughout the life of the deal. It goes to show the true character of Westbrook because he would seem to receive very little benefit, if any from this move. However, the Rockets certainly will benefit, otherwise they wouldn’t have made such a request. The only way this helps Westbrook is if this allows the Rockets to put more around him, possibly players on non-guaranteed deals.
It’s also proof of how much he wanted to be here and how much he wanted to re-unite with James Harden, which should make Rockets fans excited. It’s selfless because he could have simply said no, as it’s not his fault the Rockets are in a financially desperate situation. Those moves and decisions that put them in a dire financial state all took place well before Westbrook’s arrival, so he would have had every right to not agree to this and not help the Rockets out.
But it speaks to the character of Westbrook which often gets told differently due to his aggressive style of play. I think many who were of the opinion that Westbrook is a selfish malcontent shouldn’t overlook these types of decisions by Russ. These are also the things Westbrook likely was referring to as he was being introduced at his presser.
"I'm a nice guy."
— NBA TV (@NBATV) July 26, 2019
Hopefully these types of decisions by Westbrook don’t go overlooked by Rockets fans and the national media!