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June 26, 2017

Russell Westbrook

New York, New York

Q. If you would make a brief opening comment about winning this honor tonight.
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Oh, man. Unbelievable. Just a true blessing for me. Like I said, I don't give nobody thanks but to the Man above. He's blessing me with a talent to go out and compete at a level every single night, man, and I'm just very, very thankful for His blessing. My job is to go out there and do it, and I'm just humbled again, amazing award, and so many great Hall of Famers have gotten this award and it's just an honor to be part of some of those guys.

Q. When you look back at it, how do you think you'll remember this year, the history of it, becoming a father for the first time, a night like tonight?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: It's amazing. Something I can never imagine. I remember growing up just being home, playing the video games and stuff with my Pops, and my mom sitting there and my brother and just talking about maybe one day I could be the MVP. Obviously I was joking at the time. But now to be standing here with this trophy next to me is a true blessing, man, and it's an unbelievable feeling, something that I can never imagine.

So I'm just very, very thankful. Just happy to be here.

Q. Can you talk about the challenge you have with James [Harden] this year, you and him going back and forth, and you end up beating him. And also, what caused you to get a little emotional? Was there anything that you said that made you fall apart?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: For one, I think James had an unbelievable season. I mean, James is a real good friend of mine, as you guys know. And to have him, you know, here in the building, competing every single night, it's a blessing in itself. Hopefully for years to come, he'll be the same thing. I'm just so happy for him and his family, as well.

As for emotions, man, my family, that's who I play for. Every night, you guys see me scream, pound my chest, whatever, I do whatever it is. Emotion, it's for my family because they sacrifice so much for me at every level that I know that they do, and I'm just so thankful to have them in my life and definitely to have them here tonight.

Q. Congratulations on winning.

Q. If your late friend, KB3 [Khelcey Barrs] was here to see this, what do you think he would say?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Oh, man, he would be so proud of me. These are conversations that me and Khelcey had growing up, man, and to be able to do this in his name, everything I do, I play in his name, and I constantly keep doing that; play for his life, his family and he's definitely looking down upon me and very, very proud of me.

So I know that I'm in the right spot and doing the right thing.

Q. I'm sure this is something you thought about when you said you used to joke about winning MVP. But now that you've actually done it, is it what you expected?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: I didn't know what to expect. I'm just overwhelmed with joy, honestly. Just happy to be here. Didn't know I'd be standing here with the MVP trophy next to me. I just know that every night, every day, every opportunity I get to be able to go out and work out, compete at a high level, I try to do it, and I'm just so thankful that people across the world, you guys, the fans, noticed that this year.

Q. You obviously spent a long time thanking everybody from Oklahoma City and your teammates up on stage. Saturday you have a chance to sign a long-term extension and be with the city for a long time. Is that something you've thought about or are you ready to commit to stay with the Thunder for the long term?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Man, tonight is so important for me, and obviously with the contract and stuff coming up, it's not really on my mind at the moment honestly. I'm just overwhelmed with a tremendous amount of blessings I've been able to get to be able to get this award. Man, I'm just thinking about tonight, and then after that, I'll move on.

Q. We heard you talk about what it meant to compete against James Harden, but what did it mean to get a victory over a guy like [Kawhi] Leonard who competes every night?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Oh, definitely. Kawhi is another good friend of mine, as well. He obviously had a great year and is playing very, very well. One thing that's important, including myself in the three finalists, we're all from Los Angeles and that's a big part of where we're from, our roots and I think that's another huge difference.

Q. You had 42 triple doubles and averaged a triple double -- not to put any pressure on you -- but how do you possibly top this season?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: I don't know. I don't know. I get asked that question every year and I never know the answer. I just go out and play to the best of my ability, and then whatever comes from it, that's what it is.

Q. Along those lines, the fact that only one other guy ever did -- and a pretty fair one, Oscar Robertson -- what did that mean to you?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: Means a lot. Oscar, guys like him, Magic Johnson, those guys. Obviously I wasn't able to see those guys play, but just to look back at history and see the things that they did, it's something that I looked up to as a kid. I never thought I would be able to say that I broke Oscar Robertson's record, and that's just a true blessing. He came down to Oklahoma City and gave me an award, which I was truly, truly thankful for, and then coming down and doing that.

So I'm just so thankful and honored to be able to be in the same sentence and conversations with those guys, especially guys like Oscar.

Q. Do you know yet what you're going to do with the trophy?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK: No, I don't. Probably either go to my parents's house. I'll probably give it to my son, most likely. Honestly, I can't wait to get back to the hotel and give it to him real fast.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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