Russell Westbrook’s last-ever game as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder was ended by Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lilliard’s series-ending buzzer beater.
The date was April 23, 2019. Westbrook and company were entering Game 5 of the first round of the NBA playoffs down 3-1 in the series.
Back in 2019, ESPN’s Royce Young spoke to Lilliard on scoring 50 points and sealing the Thunder’s fate with that 37-foot shot in the playoff game, which Portland won 118-115.
“It was a great feeling when it left my hands,” Lillard said to Young. “It felt good.”
No one at the time really knew that would be Westbrook’s last game with the Thunder and the way it ended had to sting.
That night, Westbrook ended his 11-year career with OKC averaging 23.0 points, 8.4 assists, 7.0 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game.
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I can’t even begin to put into words all of the emotions I have right now. It’s been one heck of a journey Oklahoma! When I came here, I was 18 years old, bright eyed, and completely unaware of all the amazing things that would soon take place. I grew up in Oklahoma with an amazing bunch of people. The people here are what makes this place so special. From the fans, my coaches, my teammates, the entire Thunder organization, Mr. Bennett, Sam Presti, my friends, and everyone in the entire community. You are all what makes Oklahoma such a beautiful place, and the reason I’ve loved playing here all of this time. You have supported me through all of the ups and the downs, and stood by me through the good times, and tough times. For that I am eternally grateful to you. I’ve met so many amazing people who have helped shape me into the man that I am today. I hope I have impacted the Oklahoma community as much as Oklahoma has made an impact on me and my family. I’m leaving Oklahoma with so many friends and so much gratitude. I could never thank you all enough for sticking with me. It’s been a dream and a whirlwind. #WHYNOT
As we all know by now, Westbrook was traded to the Houston Rockets that July for Chris Paul, and the last member of the “Big Four” was gone.
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Which of these moments is Russell Westbrook most remembered by?
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Acrobatic layup against Lakers in 2012 conference semifinal game
Winning the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award in 2017
Russ answering The Oklahoman’s Berry Trammel with "next question."
Russ’ throwing down one of his approx. 514 dunks
Recording 20 points, 21 assists, and 20 rebounds days after Nipsey Hussle died
Tying Oscar Robertson’s record for most triple-doubles