In speaking with Rachel Nichols of ESPN, George made some rather interesting comments about Westbrook calling George’s exclusion for the All-Star team “outrageous,” and according to George, it’s something that meant a lot to him.
“Russ is the reason why this decision is becoming even more easier to make, is the character Russ has-a standup guy, and he has his teammates back,” George said.
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, George has made it no secret that the idea ofleaving the Thunder to return to his hometown of Los Angeles is something that could possibly happen. To his credit, though, George has said just enough about Los Angeles to lead people to believe he’s going to leave OKC and just enough to allow Sam Presti to keep some hope that he’ll be willing to re-sign in Oklahoma City.
At this point, the prevailing sentiment is that George’s decision won’t actually be made until after the season ends. If the Thunder advance in the playoffs, the odds are him returning, it’s believed, would increase.
Based on what George himself said, though, Westbrook’s comment about him and coming to his defense may have already helped to do the trick.
“The fact Russ had my back, that’s my guy forever, and it’s more apparent what this decision needs to be made when it comes down to it.”
Those could fairly be classified as the strongest comments George has made about re-signing in Oklahoma City since he spoke about the franchise checking every box on his list back in November.
Prior to George declaring Westbrook to be “his guy forever,” he told a brief story of the discussion they had prior to Westbrook’s voicing his opinion.
“We were actually joking before he went up there and I’m like ‘Nah, Russ, man, just let it go, let it go, Russ. It is what it is. I wasn’t picked’ and he was like ‘No, man, P, that’s messed up. I’m going to tell them something about that.’ It was awesome for a teammate to have your back and to stand up.”
George, then, decided to return the favor.
According to him, Westbrook, the reigning MVP, should be starting in the All-Star Game. Unlike his teammate, though, George didn’t say whether he thought either Stephen Curry or James Harden was less deserving.
“He should be a starter,” George said. “He’s been the MVP, been the best player at his position. He should’ve been a starter. But that’s another story.”
The 2018 NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, February 18 from the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Westbrook will be there, but unless he’s named as an injury replacement, George, unfortunately, won’t.