Jan 6, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT
Russell Westbrook plays by his own rules.
So, just because the Oklahoma City Thunder said he’s be out until after the All-Star Break, that doesn’t mean Westbrook is listening. After all, when the team said he’d miss the first four to six weeks of the season following preseason knee surgery, Westbrook returned in the Thunder’s third game.
Should we expect as speedier comeback again? Westbrook isn’t quite saying that, but one person who heard the point guard’s tone read between the lines a little bit.
Russell Westbrook came as close as he could Sunday to confirming our suspicions.
There’s no way he’ll be on the shelf through the All-Star break.
“Yeah, I don’t pay no attention to none of those projections, man,” Westbrook said. “I just wake up and try to get better each and every day. That’s it.”
Reggie Jackson has been up and down in Westbrook’s absence, helping the Thunder to a 4-2 record since Westbrook’s latest setback. That has Oklahoma City atop the Western Conference, but the San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trail Blazers are each a game back.
Playoff seeding matters, especially in this stacked West. The sooner Westbrook returns to full health, the better for the Thunder. Not only will they gain a star starter, they’ll also add a talented reserve in Jackson, who’s stretching his limits as a starter.
Westbrook returning won’t solve all Oklahoma City’s problems, of course, and it might even lead to new kinks. Westbrook can still be headstrong, getting too aggressive at times. But after all this, the Thunder can’t complain about that. It’s the only reason he might be back on the court anytime soon.