Russell Westbrook has never missed a game in his NBA career and has played in all 439 game of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s existence… until now. Russ will be out indefinitely following surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee.
Westbrook was injured in the second quarter of Game 2 against the Houston Rockets when he banged knees with Rockets’ Patrick Beverley. Westbrook was dribbling up court, about to call a timeout, when Beverley lunged at the ball and the players’ knees collided.
This clearly puts a dent in the Thunder’s anticipated return to the NBA finals. Their play in game two already looked a bit shaky. Now without the “Fashion King” their title run appears to be in jeopardy.
“Our players’ health is our first and foremost concern. The Thunder’s medical team and several specialists we consulted with determined that Russell undergo a procedure to address the issue,” said Thunder general manager Sam Presti in a statement.
“We have thoroughly discussed this with Russell. Despite being the competitor and teammate that he is, he respects and understands the decision and is committed to come back even stronger. Certainly Russell is a leader and core player for this team, but we are in the midst of the playoffs and I know other players are determined to step up and contribute. We have a resilient group of players who have always taken pride in playing as a team and that approach will continue.”
This opens up the floor for the Clippers to come in a swoop up their first Western Conference finals appearance. The path to the finals in the West has certainly opened up a bit. While the fashion will most certainly take a downward swing. Wishing Russell a speedy and healthy return to the court.