“I am truly a fan of his. If you can ever say – being as we’re so many years apart – that when I watch him play, I see a lot of resemblance of his passion for the game of basketball, the way I played the game of basketball.”
The GOAT wasn’t talking about Kobe Bryant or LeBron James; he was referring to Russell Westbrook.
— Joel Tolentino (@joeldtolentino) September 2, 2017
Jordan has always been fond of Westbrook and signed him to a five-year contract with Jordan Brand in 2013. Initially, Westbrook was with Nike but once then-teammate Kevin Durant’s signature shoe line starting taking off, Nike, Jordan Brand’s parent company, wanted to split the two stars up in order to have a two-brand presence.
Durant may be gone on to what some people believe are bigger and better things but Westbrook remains in Oklahoma City and Jordan doesn’t seem to believe for one second that Westbrook won’t end up with a championship too.
— J23 iPhone App (@J23app) June 27, 2017
After KD left OKC for greener pastures, Westbrook carried the Thunder to a fifth seeding in the West while averaging a triple-double – 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists – for the first time since Oscar Robertson did it in 1962.
To add to his record-breaking season, Westbrook was the runaway winner of the NBA Most Valuable Player award.
Russell Westbrook's MVP season highlights are ?? pic.twitter.com/HhmxBZB4rX
— ProCity Hoops™ (@ProCityHoops) September 2, 2017
But two contracts were nearing an end: the Jordan deal would have been up in 2018 and despite signing a reported $86.5 million, three-year extension in August of last year, Westbrook can opt-out after the 2017-18 season.