Russell Westbrook on Contract Extension with Thunder: 'I Like Where I'm At'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistOctober 2, 2017

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook is pictured during an NBA basketball media day in Oklahoma City, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook said "I like where I'm at" when discussing his new five-year contract extension that will keep him with the franchise through the 2022-23 season.

"I wasn't worried," Westbrook told reporters Sunday. "See, that's what I keep trying to tell you, I wasn't really worried about it because I know I wanted to be—it didn't—obviously with the time and everything, that's part of the job, but I wasn't really worried, man. I was really just focusing on just being at home and embracing that time.

"My focus never shifted. I mean, obviously I didn't talk to you guys, so you guys were kind of making up your own assumptions, but my focus never changed. For me, you know, taking my time, family is the most important thing to me, and that's what I was focused on. When it's time to focus on basketball I do that, and that's it."

Westbrook, the reigning NBA MVP, inked a five-year, $205 million extension last week. The Thunder added Paul George and Carmelo Anthony via trade this offseason, moves Westbrook said he appreciated.

"Obviously they made moves to improve our team, and being able to play for a championship and being able to play at a high level is something that I want to do every single year, and those moves proved that," Westbrook said.

Anthony and George can become unrestricted free agents next summer. George told reporters Westbrook's extension will "absolutely" factor into his decision in free agency. 

"We've been on an unbelievable start right now, and for him to be committed here, it says a lot," George said. "Not only in us pairing together, but just knowing what type of dude Russ is and his values and his beliefs and him being committed to this organization says a lot. And I'm one person that's enjoying it here, so I think when that time comes, the decision will be easier to make for myself."

Anthony has not made a similar comment, but it's hard to believe Westbrook's extension will not at least weigh on his mind.

The Thunder will enter the regular season as part of a three-way race at the top of the Western Conference with the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. The San Antonio Spurs, as per usual, also linger as a potential contender. 

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