OKLAHOMA CITY--MVP Russell Westbrook signed a 5-year $205 million extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder today, the richest contract in NBA history. Westbrook, the best player in the NBA, could have signed with any team, but he chose to remain loyal to the club that drafted him. Why? They offered him $205 million.
“It was the $205 million,” Westbrook said, when asked what drove his decision to re-sign with his home team. “It’s a shit ton of money. It’s an ungodly amount of money. I can’t even imagine having that kind of money. Because of the way the NBA is structured no other team could have offered me as much. So that’s why I chose to stay here in Oklahoma City: Money. An absolute dick-ton of it.”
When asked what other criteria factored into his decision to-resign with the Thunder rather than wait until free agency to choose another destination, Westbrook had this to say:
“Nothing. It was the money. Oklahoma City is a fine town, perfectly pleasant. The schools are decent. People are super nice. Then again people are super nice to me everywhere because I’m so famous. So none of that stuff really mattered to me. In the end, after a lot of soul searching, praying, and huddling together with my family, I decided that the best thing for all of us would be to make as much money as humanly possible, regardless of the location.”
Westbrook would have been one of the most sought-after free agents in history, but the Thunder preempted his free agency by taking advantage of a new clause in the league’s collective bargaining agreement. Known as “the Kevin Durant rule” this rule enables teams to offer sweeter deals to their franchise players as long as they are the team that signed him to his rookie contract. The idea is to encourage young superstars to stay with the teams that drafted them. In this case, it worked.
“New York, L.A., Boston, Chicago, Miami – these are all tempting places,” Westbrook said, “but they lack a certain intangible quality that OKC has, namely, the ability to offer me 205 goddamn million frigging dollars. Say it again. 205 million. If Donald Trump offered me $205 million to be Secretary of White Supremacy, I’d probably take it.”
Westbrook was then asked about the relative lack of marketing opportunities in a place like Oklahoma City compared to cities like New York or Los Angeles.
“Marketing opportunities?” Westbrook responded. “Marketing opportunities? You mean the 'opportunity' to hang out in some sweaty warehouse all day pretending to bite into the same gross hamburger over and over again for 14 hours straight when I could be sitting at my estate doing nothing at all except wiping my ass and the asses of my wife and children with thousand dollar bills? I don’t need marketing opportunities. I don’t need anything. I have – and I’m sorry to sound like a broken record here – $205 million.”
Thunder GM Sam Presti was elated about Westbrook’s decision to re-sign with the team and praised the MVP's loyalty in choosing Oklahoma City.
“Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘loyalty’ as ‘a strong feeling of support or allegiance,’” Presti said at a press conference announcing the extension. “Russell Westbrook is the epitome of loyalty. He could have had his choice of teams but he chose to stay in this little jerkwater berg out of loyalty. Isn't that wonderful? Well, that wasn’t the only factor, obviously. There were other factors, too, and clearly one of them was so compelling, so convincing, and so crashingly obviously it barely even warrants mentioning, but I’m going to mention it anyway: the great school system.”
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