Russell Westbrook got a rousing sendoff Thursday night from the fans in Oklahoma, just as the news broke that Westbrook was about to be traded to the Houston Rockets.
Minutes after ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news about the trade, Westbook took the stage to a standing ovation at a comedy show at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa.
Westbook had been scheduled to talk to reporters at 8:15 p.m. Eastern time — roughly 10 minutes before Wojnarowski tweeted about the trade. Instead, Westbrook skipped the interview session and took the stage, where he introduced Demetrius Deason, a childhood friend who was co-hosting the event with Westbrook.
The timing of the news brought a surreal feel to the event, where Westbrook was all smiles on stage.
With the Thunder in rebuilding mode following the Paul George trade last weekend, Westbrook had been rumored to be on the trading block over the past week. But most of the reporting suggested Westbrook was headed to Miami. Instead, he’ll head to Houston, where he’ll reunite with former teammate James Harden to form one of the most explosive backcourts in recent NBA history.
Deason told me that the timing of the news couldn’t have been better.
“It’s dope,” he said. “If I could have picked that we dropped the news on any day, I think it would have been tonight. I think that’s what I would have wanted. The comedy gods were on my side tonight.”
I asked Deason what he’d pick as the title for the show given Westbrook’s departure.
“Farewell Oklahoma,” he said with a smile.
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