A torturous thirty day wait is over for Oklahoma City fans as Russell Westbrook signs a three-year extension with the Thunder and a franchise that has spent the past month stuck in neutral is back in gear and back in business.
The old cliche, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, was never more appropriate than today. Westbrook is the living embodiment of the true meaning of that old saying and for what it is worth, the wrong man was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame last November. Kevin Durant promised a future in Oklahoma but it was Westbrook that delivered when it counted most.
Personally, I cannot imagine what Russell has gone through since July 4th. Durant didn't just run from the fight on the court, he dumped the future of the Oklahoma City franchise right in Westbrook's unsuspecting lap and what was supposed to be a summer of preparing for another championship run turned into a personal and moral dilemma that few are ever forced to deal with.
Granted, Westbrook's return means more seasons in the sun, and that is great, but it actually is much more profound than that. People's livelihoods were at stake here. Had Russell grabbed the next Durant Express out of town he would have been casting the team he help build to the dumpster fire. Oklahoma City fans are well known for loyalty, but a total rebuild at this point would have been long and tested even the most ardent supporter. Game attendance equates to jobs. Not only jobs at Chesapeake Arena but in the Bricktown entertainment section of downtown Oklahoma City as well. Less wins generally equates to less fans, less fans lead to fewer jobs.
Westbrook's signing means the party continues and the jobs that party requires are worth more than an NBA Championship. Thank you Russell, Khelcey would be proud of his friend today.