Shai Gilgeous-Alexander: ‘I Am Not Russell Westbrook’

by August 23, 2019

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, in his first chat with the OKC press Thursday, was quick to point out that he is not in fact Russell Westbrook.

The 21-year-old deftly handled the inevitable questions about succeeding the Thunder legend following their respective blockbuster trades this summer, and said he is determined to build his own legacy.

Gilgeous-Alexander, along with new teammates Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder, will headline a backcourt that won’t feature Westbrook for the first time in 11 seasons.

Per The Oklahoman:

“He set the bar pretty high,” Gilgeous-Alexander said.

In his first meeting with the media Thursday, you wouldn’t have tabbed Gilgeous-Alexander as a player coming off a Second Team All-Rookie season as a 20-year-old starter for a 48-win playoff team.

“I am not Russell Westbrook,” Gilgeous-Alexander said with no malice. “I do not have the same name, same body type, stuff like that. So, I’m just going to try to be myself and be the best me and everything else will take care of itself.

“I’m just a basketball player. Regardless of the situation, I’m going to continue to work hard and play my game. I know that eventually it will come out. I don’t worry about starting. I’m not worried about accolades or things like that. I just work hard, keep my head down and (stay) true to who I am.”

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