Russell Westbrook could also be altering groups and jersey numbers, however the Washington Wizards‘ new level guard mentioned he is not going to alter his demeanor on the court docket, it doesn’t matter what individuals consider him.
Westbrook joined the Wizards on Saturday however didn’t observe as a consequence of paperwork from the commerce with Houston having simply been accomplished previous to observe. However he spoke to reporters for the primary time since being traded for John Wall, and he insisted he’ll proceed to be himself on the ground.
Westbrook was requested about what’s most misunderstood about him.
“The place would you like me to begin?” Westbrook mentioned with a chuckle. “Effectively pay attention, I feel the underlying factor about that’s 90 %, 100% isn’t even true.
“As a result of loads of occasions, the issues which can be made up, individuals do not truly know me to have the ability to say something about me or what I’m about or what I imagine in. … The most important factor for me is simply sort of going and being myself, which is straightforward as a result of being myself, I will be real and constant and understanding. Clearly, I’m not the simplest man to know, no matter, watch play, no matter individuals might imagine.”
Westbrook is happy for a brand new begin after his one season in Houston. He’s wanting to play alongside Bradley Beal and to be reunited along with his former Oklahoma Metropolis head coach Scott Brooks.
Requested if he needed to be traded from Houston after one season taking part in with James Harden, Westbrook replied, “I am pleased about the place I am at” and that he needed to maintain the concentrate on the Wizards.
Whereas he mentioned he was allowed to put on his earlier jersey No. 0 in Washington — the place Gilbert Arenas as soon as starred in that quantity — Westbrook mentioned he has lengthy needed to put on 4, which was his highschool quantity.
Westbrook, although, would not plan on altering a factor concerning the ultra-competitive strategy he’s identified for on the court docket, and he makes no apologies about it.
“The way in which I play the sport sort of misconstrues individuals of who I’m as an individual, who I’m and what I imagine in and what I stand for,” Westbrook mentioned. “Clearly, how I play and off the ground are two totally different individuals. When I’m on the ground, I haven’t got any mates, I’m not making an attempt to be pleasant, I am making an attempt to bust anyone’s ass. I ain’t bought time to attempt to shake arms and do all that. I haven’t got time for it, and I’m by no means altering that.”
Westbrook additionally mentioned that he arrives in Washington trying to assist Beal. Beal mentioned Friday that he will not give any inventory to damaging narratives about Westbrook being troublesome to play with, or that he may attempt to are available “making an attempt to run the present and simply do every little thing by himself.”
“I am tremendous enthusiastic about it,” Westbrook mentioned. “Brad is a celebrity expertise. … My job is to return in and proceed to uplift and push him to be higher. That’s all I’m right here for. I’m pleased to be his counterpart and attempt to make it simpler for him.”
Westbrook will likely be becoming a member of a staff that has gained simply 32 and 27 video games the previous two seasons. Brooks mentioned Westbrook will make a direct impression so far as displaying his teammates how arduous he performs and works.
Whereas he hopes to take the Wizards again to the playoffs for the primary time in three seasons, Westbrook mentioned his legacy will not be outlined by whether or not he wins a championship.
“Legacy for me relies on how many individuals I impression and encourage alongside my journey,” Westbrook mentioned. “… I grew up in underserved communities, I perceive what it is like, I perceive the battle, I perceive what it means and what it is wish to be a Black African American in society.”
“It is essential that anyone that has the ability, the impression, the power, the impression, the outreach to have the ability to put their foot down and make a stand,” Westbrook added. “To me, that’s legacy. That creates legacy long run.”