Russell Westbrook has never missed a game as pro. Or in college. He’s played 282 consecutive games for the Thunder, but that could be coming to an end Saturday night.
In the fourth quarter of OKC’s win over the Magic Westbrook stepped on a defender’s foot and rolled his left ankle. He walked it off, sinking two free throws right after and playing pretty much the rest of the way. He exited the game with about 30 seconds left and went to the locker room.
Said Westbrook after the game, via The Oklahoman: “I’m much more focused on my career … I think missing a game instead of missing (more time) in the long run won’t hurt you. So we’ll just see how it feels and hopefully I’ll be able to play.”
(If you’re wondering, the all-time NBA record for most consecutive games played is 1,192 set by A.C. Green.)
This ankle injury comes just over a week after he rolled his other ankle in a game against Golden State. Westbrook didn’t miss any time because of that one, but it certainly sounds like he’s taking a cautious approach, which is wise.
If Westbrook can’t go Saturday against the Hawks, Scott Brooks will have an interesting choice between Reggie Jackson or Royal Ivey. Jackson is the de facto backup as of now, but would Brooks really trust his inconsistent rookie with big minutes? Or would he split time between Ivey and Jackson with Harden running a healthy amount of point?
Hopefully for the Thunder’s sake, they don’t have to find out.