Russell Westbrook Starts The Next Chapter: “I’m Just Trying to Build an Empire.”

Russell Westbrook never smiles on the basketball court. When he plays, his demeanor is brash, even ugly.

But, ironically, tonight he’s all smiles. Standing 6’3″, and surrounded by scurrying photographers, he’s relishing his moment in the spotlight. Tonight he’s celebrating the launch of his collaboration with Jack Threads for his Westbrook Frames at 214 Lafayette, NYC.

“We just was able to collab on some fly glasses,” he told us. “Both my team and their team kind of thought it would be a great move to work together. I thought it would be a great idea to come up with some shades.”

In addition to being a dead-eyed assassin on the court, Westbrook is a fashion savant. Donning an all-white jacket with his signature pair of skinny jeans, many would confuse Russell for a runway model. But despite being worth millions and always being photographed in high-end clothing, Westbrook says that it was important his range was affordable.

“I wanted to make sure that anybody can kind of go all out and just go grab some shades,” he said.

In hopes of elevating his brand, Russell is tapping into every market possible. He already has a Jordan brand deal, a clothing line and glasses line sold at Barney’s in New York, and an underwear deal with Kings & Jax, not to mention his recent signing to Mountain Dew to be the face of Mtn Dew Kickstart.

“The Mountain Dew people did a great deal as far as getting us a great looking spot coming out with the [Mtn Dew] Kickstart drink. So it should be fun.”

“I’m trying to build an empire, man, to tell you the truth,” he told us. I’m just trying to reach out to how many people I can and try to find a way to be successful on and off the floor.”

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