In a move that's sending ripples of excitement throughout the NBA, free agent guard Russell Westbrook has committed his future to the Los Angeles Clippers, signing a new two-year, $7.8 million deal with the team. This decision comes as no surprise for those familiar with Westbrook's affection for the franchise and its fans.
"I Love It Here": Westbrook's Affection for Clippers and Fans
"My love for this place runs deep," Westbrook confessed shortly after the Clippers' early playoff elimination by the Phoenix Suns this past April. Westbrook's admiration isn't solely about basketball; it encompasses a broader respect and fondness for the Clippers community as a whole.
"One thing I do tell you is that I love it here," Westbrook said. "I love the people, just the fans overall embracing not just me but my family and close friends. I know, end of the year, a lot of things have happened, but I'm grateful.
I definitely love being here." Westbrook's on-court contribution also didn't go unnoticed. His teammate Paul George highlighted the energy Westbrook brings to the team: "He's played himself back into the Russ that he was...
that we all knew that he still has. He brings so much to his team and it's amazing to watch him."
Head Coach Tyronn Lue's Vote of Confidence
Coach Tyronn Lue also voiced his appreciation for Westbrook's performance during the playoffs, which proved a pivotal factor in the 34-year-old guard's decision to stick with the Clippers.
Lue shared his belief in Westbrook's abilities and expressed his desire to retain the seasoned player. "I hope everybody can see just different teams," Lue said. "Different situations where guys play differently in different spots.
Hopefully, guys can see that Russ still has a lot left in the tank... this has opened eyes for a lot of teams, give him an opportunity if he can go out there and really get paid. But I want him back for sure." On his part, Westbrook was more than happy to extend his stay with the Clippers.
He praised the franchise for their professional conduct and the congenial atmosphere they maintain. "A well, well-ran organization from top to bottom," Westbrook said. "Not just that, but a happy and enjoyable environment is something that you don't see everywhere.
Happy to come to work, being around people that actually enjoy their job, enjoy what they're doing. That's trying to keep all of us as players, not just that, but making sure we have everything we need to be successful on the floor."