Russell Westbrook, the outstanding guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, has been named the Most Valuable Player in the NBA for the recently completed season.
In New York, Westbrook thanked his teammates (Enes Kanter, Nick Collison, Taj Gibson, Victor Oladipo and Andre Roberson were with him at the ceremony).
“I’m very, very thankful to have you guys in my corner,” Westbrook said to his teammates. “You guys are my brothers for life.”
Then he thanked his father, Russell Sr., worked two jobs and still managed to foster a dream of playing in the NBA. He noted his mother Shannon’s strong presence and ability to keep the family close.
He recalled his brother Raynard’s meaningful halftime texting ritual that persists to this day and his wife Nina’s support and devotion in raising the couple’s son Noah.
“Hopefully when (Noah) starts talking he can say that I’m the Most Valuable Pop,” Westbrook said. The list of thank yous from Westbrook went to Thunder – Chairman Clayton I. Bennett, General Manager and Executive Vice President Sam Presti and Coach Billy Donovan.
Westbrook also thanked his fans, especially those in Oklahoma.
“I want to thank all the fans all across the world for supporting me throughout my career.” Westbrook said. “I want to give a special thanks to all the fans in Oklahoma City. You guys have been riding with me since Day One. You guys have been riding with me through good games and bad games and have always been lifting me up.”
Westbrook became the leader of the Thunder after Kevin Durant, the MVP of the NBA Playoffs, signed a free-agent contract with the Golden State Warriors, who won the championship.