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October 1, 2017

Russell Westbrook

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

RUSSELL WESTBROOK: I like where I'm at. I like to see the fans, and I enjoy where I play basketball, and obviously with the extension, it shows that.

Q. Was there anything that happened in the off-season that helped you want to get this thing done?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Obviously they made moves to improve our team, and being able to play for a championship and being able to play at a high level is something that I want to do every single year, and those moves proved that.

Q. (Indiscernible).
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: You know, I just wanted to be a guy that they know that every single night he left it on the floor, man. I think for me, that's what I try to do every single day, every single year, become a better player, find ways, and obviously win as many championships as I can.

Q. You've said a couple of times now that this is a place you want to be going back a few months, but when was the time that you actually told the organization explicitly regarding the extension that you were going to sign it?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: What you mean, like the day I told them? That was good, but I just gave that answer. Good try.

Q. Can you tell me about the moment of you telling Sam and --
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: I mean, I'd prefer not to do that. We have a great relationship, myself and Sam, and we talk about many different things. We have a good relationship where we don't have to make sure everybody knows exactly the time and date when I told him, but all that matters is we're on the same page about everything and me taking the summer to enjoy the things that I discussed already.

Q. Since your new teammates have arrived, Melo and Paul George, they've spoken about how since they joined the team, it's nice to be able to focus on basketball solely. Now that your contract is taken care of, is it nice to be able to join in on that sole focus of just being basketball?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: My focus never shifted. I mean, obviously I didn't talk to you guys so you guys were kind of making up your own assumptions, but my focus never changed. For me, you know, taking my time, family is the most important thing to me, and that's what I was focused on. When it's time to focus on basketball I do that, and that's it.

Q. Edmund is kind of a special place in your heart. How was it to come out and announce this big news at Thunderfest?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Obviously just the timing of everything here in Edmund is good, just for the fans to be able to come out and join obviously the big game, but also the opportunity to be able to just enjoy this moment and embrace it, as well.

Q. What does it mean to you, backing off of that, fans coming out to support you? Seems like this is your city, know what I mean?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Yeah, it's just unbelievable. I'm truly honored and blessed. Like I said, it's just something that you can't make up. You can't reenact, the people here, they're genuine. They truly obviously love me and love the team, and they stay strong to that, and that's something that you don't find many places.

Q. Just since May you've published a book, signed the richest contract in the NBA. How do you think you're going to look back at 2017?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: I don't know, man, you just give all the things to the man upstairs. I really can't -- I never know what's going to happen, how it's going to happen, but you know, I can continue to pray and be thankful, and I'm honored to be in the position I'm in every single day. I don't take anything for granted, and I constantly keep moving forward and trying to figure out how I can improve as a person, as a player, and as a father.

Q. With this long-term contract, does this show that you want to be a Thunder for your career, and also get your jersey in the rafters there?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Yeah, I mean, all that stuff is always into play when you're at one place for a long time, but all I can do, man, is take it day by day, and that's kind of how I always look at everything is taking it one day at a time and attacking that day and constantly finding ways to improve in anything that I'm doing.

Q. How excited are you to not be able to answer contract questions anymore?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: I wasn't worried. See, that's what I keep trying to tell you, I wasn't really worried about it because I know I wanted to be -- it didn't -- obviously with the time and everything, that's part of the job, but I wasn't really worried, man. I was really just focusing on just being at home and embracing that time.

Q. When you watch that tribute video up on stage, are you able to kind of reflect at all, just your journey, your career, and what it's taken to get to the point that you're at?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Definitely, man. I think for you to be able to move forward, you always have to reflect and kind of see where you began to kind of where you're at to kind of improve on the things you want to do and get better, and obviously looking at that video, you just see over the years, just the good times and bad times and kind of where we are now. It's truly, truly amazing and obviously a great journey.

Q. Was that Ray right at the end of the video that --
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Yeah, Ray was talking the whole time. My brother was doing the narrative the whole time. He's going to become the new Morgan Freeman of Oklahoma.

Q. Was that a surprise to you?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Yeah, yeah, they talked about doing a video and kind of seeing, but I didn't know how my brother would sound on the voice-over, but he did a good job.

Q. You're always talking about Ray and your parents and all that, and the million things that happened to you this summer, what's your family been like during that process?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Right with me. That's the most important thing to me, my wife, my son, my brother, my mom and my dad, they're there every time that I'm doing something, we're doing it together, and for me that's just how it is, whether it's MVP, whether it's going to book signings, whatever it was, the birth of my child. Everybody is a part of everything, and that's the way I think it should be.

Q. I want to know how many diapers have you changed since you signed the contract?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Since? I've been changing diapers since day one. I change diapers.

Q. Do you get a break since you signed the contract?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: No, my wife not having none of that. No breaks.

Q. Sam said you had the PRP injection. Just wonder how that's going, and did you consult anyone who's been through it?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Going well, going well.

Q. Can you just talk about watching the team change over the off-season, just how you -- are you impressed with what Sam was able to do and what he was able to put together?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Oh, Sam is always -- he takes pride in his job and what he's doing, and he's done an amazing job ever since he's been here in Oklahoma City of finding ways just to build our team, build up the committee, the community, and him and Mr. Bennett do an amazing job of making sure that us as players can just worry about basketball, and they've been doing that since I've been here.

Q. Where do you feel you are in the process of coming back to the court?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Oh, I'm good, bro. I'm good. When I'll be back, you will see.

Q. What is it about Sam that allows you guys from a personality standpoint to have like a 10-year relationship that's gone --
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Just being straightforward. When you're honest and straightforward with somebody and you can just talk to them like a normal person -- he's basically been able to see me grow up since I was 18 years old, and I'm 28, so it's just creating a relationship over time and just creating just honest and open communication is always key.

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