Newly acquired Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook is making an immediate impact on his team.
According to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington, Westbrook interrupted head coach Scott Brooks during the squad’s practice on Saturday to make an interesting point.
“Scott Brooks says Russell Westbrook interrupted him at practice today to say ‘Hey, you’re running a lot of the same stuff [we used to in OKC].’ Says it shows how quickly he’s going to be acclimated to the system,” Hughes tweeted out.
Scott Brooks says Russell Westbrook interrupted him at practice today to say ‘Hey, you’re running a lot of the same stuff [we used to in OKC].’ Says it shows how quickly he’s going to be acclimated to the system.
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) December 5, 2020
Westbrook didn’t stop there, though.
On Sunday, the former league MVP showed up to practice two hours early to set the tone for how he would approach his time in D.C.
“It definitely felt like old times,” Brooks said, referencing his experience with Westbrook when both were members of the Oklahoma City Thunder organization.
“I’m sure the players didn’t realize that’s what he does. You could tell everybody locked in and everybody raised their level up. They will know this was not because it was the first day. This is who he is, this is how he prepares, this is how he gets ready. He’s always like that.”
Apparently getting to practice two or so hours early was just Westbrook’s thing. He did it while in OKC, and he continues to do it now.
Yikes. James Harden and the Rockets definitely aren’t on the same page right now. https://t.co/cRlMrlWNUy
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 7, 2020
“It was like Groundhog Day,” Brooks continued. “He was there every day. Today was no different. This is who he is, this is what he’s about.”
Westbrook, for his part, isn’t playing it coy with his all-business approach. He wants everyone to know that is what he is about from the jump. When asked this weekend what he expected from his teammates going forward, Westbrook confirmed that he demands of them what he demands of himself.
“Go out and compete and play hard, that’s the biggest thing. All the Xs and Os, that will come,” he said. “But playing hard and understanding what it means to compete, work hard and everything else will follow.
Alabama went after Coach O hard after the game. https://t.co/SUduHNyY5I
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 6, 2020
“We are going to strive to win a championship and we can as long as we put our effort and our energy and sacrifice our time, our minds and our bodies to be able to do it. We can walk away and live with that.”
This is going to be an interesting season for the Wizards. They shipped out John Wall to the Rockets under the presumption that Westbrook would compliment team star Bradley Beal better.
If that gamble proves to be wrong, then they could lose Beal. If it’s right – they may quietly turn into one of the sneaky good teams in the Eastern Conference.