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September 23, 2016

Russell Westbrook

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Q. What are your expectations of what you want to see from your squad?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Well, just to play, man, I think have fun. I think the most part in basketball you is want to have fun. I think that's the biggest thing for our team is just make sure guys have fun and embrace the moment.

Q. What are your expectations personally? Obviously the situation is much different, what do you hope to accomplish this season in term of leadership and in terms of what you're going to do on the court?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Win. The main focus is to win a championship every year, and that's what I'm going to try to do on both sides of the ball. Leadership wise, as well but just come in and find ways to help our team win a championship.

Q. Having a relationship with Jordan, did you have any relationship before or was this the first encounter you had with him this off-season and training with him?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Very little before, nothing too certify /KWRUS, always been a good dude. Now having an opportunity to work out and get a chance to know him a little bit personally, that's been good so far, going to see some great things.

Q. Going back to UCLA, how do you see that, working out; that something you want to embrace?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: I don't know how it's going to work out. I'm just going to continue doing what I've been doing, come in and try to get better, lead our team.

Q. A lot of fans are excited about you playing on the court --
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Defensively I think we can be the best defensive backcourt on the league because we can do different things with our size and using our length and our speed and I think that's the biggest part of it.

Q. What goes through your mind when you see the situation with Tulsa, pretty close to here and also your thoughts on some of the stands people are taking on Colin Kaepernick right now?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: I think it's very important -- more importantly, I think a lot of people don't realize the families of all these young men, their mothers, their brothers, sisters, uncles, uncles, I think it's very important that we understand how important the families feel about the situations. And me being an African-American athlete and having a voice, I think it's important that I make a stand and know that something has to change. I think I don't have an answer. Obviously nobody has an answer if that's the case, it would have been (inaudible) but I think it's important that we figure out what we can do to help improve what's going on.

Q. You seem to thrive on playing with that big lineup of Steven Adams and Kanter, is that a lineup that you prefer to play with?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: No, I play with whoever is on the floor. I think we have a lot of group of guys who can play different positions, different size lineup, different situations. My job is to make sure that they feel comfortable, make sure those guys are comfortable in those situations.

Q. Back to the idea of protest just real quick. Are there challenges you face as an athlete trying to balance activism and just who you are?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: I think there's challenges in every aspect of everything. I think for me personally, me growing up in inner city and being able to see different things on a night in and day-in, day-out basis, that hit home for me just being able to see different things that's going on globally and getting an opportunity for other people across the world to be able to see it and now I think it's getting to a point where obviously there's something that needs to be changed on that aspect and you know, I'm going to use my voice as much as possible being able to relay that message.

Q. You and a couple of your teammates already having used your voice, know what you're talking about on Instagram and stuff like that, once the actual season starts, how many players -- especially this generation is pretty politically active. How do you see players around the league kind of being outspoken about this?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: I'm not sure. Obviously some players feel differently than others because I think based on how people were brought up, where they were born, how we were raised, a lot of things comes into play, you start talking about political views and different things going on around the country. But I think different guys, some my stand up, some may not but it will be interesting to see.

Q. How does it feel going into your first game without Kevin around?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: I mean, it's definitely different. It's not the same. Just missing Kevin, Deon, Serge, been with Serge, the same amount of time. Different guys but I'm happy, ready to start camp with the new guys and embrace the moment.

Q. Do you anticipate there being sort of a transition period where guys have to get used to the idea?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: I mean, I think any change you have to get used to making a transition, got a new coach, got to get used to the transition. I think any change you have to get used to.

Q. I'm sure you don't want to be asked this question but Kevin was asked if you're still cool and he said you're still cool; do you agree with that?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: I haven't talked to him.

Q. Are you the third 'stache --
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: I have no mustache for you buddy (laughter). All you see in here is 27 years (laughter). Never shaved in my life.

Q. This might be a broad question but how do you want this team to play?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: I want the team to play how they want to play, I mean, it's not totally up to me how we play. You know, guys, you have to adjust to how guys play. My job is to adjust how Steven and Dre and those guys gotten better. You have to adjust to the team you have and adjust night-in, night-out basis on how you want to play. You want to play fast some nights and you want to play slow. I think it depends on the game, on the situation, who is on the floor.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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