Russell Westbrook Origin Story: Rocking the Rim With Fury Like Thunder and Lightning

Russell Westbrook‘s story begins on the sun-drenched courts of Long Beach, California. It was here that he began his journey to becoming one of basketball’s biggest talents.

Russell was introduced to the game of basketball via his father, Russell Westbrook Jr, who would take his son to local pickup games. Little Russell watched his father battling foes from baseline to sideline, and would imitate his moves.

Recognizing his son’s interest, along with the potential, Russell Junior started a tutelage based on the game of his son’s favorite player, NBA giant Magic Johnson, who towered at a massive 6’9″ and over 200 pounds.

Father and son spent countless hours in the gym. Russell would put up jumper after jumper until his short legs became heavy as stone, but he never complained. He only desired to become greater, something that his father would never falter in encouraging.

Russell was only 5’8″ entering high school, but he stuck to the game plan, and despite his small stature, he worked voraciously to crack the starting lineup of the Leuzinger High. It is often said that luck is when preparation meets opportunity.

One night, with a peculiar storm approaching, Russell was at his daily training regimen. He felt almost driven by the energy emitting from the storm. He bounded and leapt across the court with the speed of lightning and then–a blinding white flash.

Russell came to, dizzy but with a new power coursing through his veins.

The next morning, Russell woke up cold, his feet sticking out from under the covers. When he went to get dressed, his trousers were too short, and his shoes squeezed and hurt his feet. Leaving the bedroom, he bumped his head.

Seemingly overnight, Russell was forever changed. He was now a towering 6’3.” Previously sought after for his academic prowess, his physical transformation, coupled with a number of feats on the court, turned the eyes of basketball’s collegiate elite upon him.

He ventured not too far from home, to UCLA. Russell began his tenure there as a backup point guard, but in his sophomore season, due to a teammate who falling to injury, he emerged as a formidable replacement. After spending two seasons playing for UCLA, Russell decided to make the jump to the realm of professional basketball. It was in the NBA that Russell would further evolve.

Russell emerged as an unrelenting force on the court. As he and the Thunder rose from the mud of the NBA lower ranks, the world got a glimpse of his electrifying style, with signature red shades, bold patterns, and dapper slacks that charged every room. During the game, he’s a scowling version of Superman, but afterward a charming and smiling Clark Kent. Consider yourself unlucky if you confuse the two.

Image: @vadivisuals

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