Russell Westbrook: ‘Next Year I’m Going to Become a Better Shooter’

Russell Westbrook vows to improve as a shooter this summer, after being outplayed and outshot by Damian Lillard in a five-game first round playoff series.

Westbrook, never one to lack confidence, reminded reporters Thursday that no one can do the things he can on the court.

Thunder teammate Paul George called Russ “one of the best human beings” he knows.


“If you want to determine my career and what I’ve done over two, three games, you go ahead,” Westbrook said during his end-of-season exit interview with the media. “That don’t mean s— to me. It doesn’t. I’m going to wake up, like I told you before, three beautiful kids, I’m going to wake up and smile, be happy, enjoy my life. Doesn’t change anything about — talk about if I’m playing bad or who’s better, who’s not. I know who I am as a person, and that’s the biggest thing I can say about myself. I know who I am. I know what I’m able to do. I know my capabilities. I know what I’ve done. I know what I can and can’t do. So I’m OK with that. I’m OK with who I am. I’ll just be blessed to wake up every day and enjoy my life. The talk about — I don’t even know what talk you’re talking about, but whatever that is, you guys can keep talking about it, and I’m going to keep living my life.”

Westbrook has spent his career as one of the most polarizing players in the league. Criticism was raised again with his subpar series against the Blazers in which he struggled with his shooting.

“There used to be conversations if I was a ball hog, but now I lead the league in assists for the past three years or whatever it is, that’s getting squashed out,” he said. “So now the conversation is about shooting. Next year I’m going to become a better shooter. After that it’ll be probably, f—, my left foot is bigger than my right one. Who knows.

“So that’s why, back to your point, I don’t really care what people say, what they think about me, because it doesn’t really matter. I know what I’m able to do and know what I’m able to do at a high level every night, and nobody else can do what I can do on a night-in, night-out basis, and I truly believe that. If they could, I’m pretty sure they would. But I know for a fact that nobody can.”

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