Russell Westbrook: ‘I expect to win’

Russell Westbrook spoke with the media about an hour before tipoff against the Suns, a game in which he’s shockingly set to return to the floor. Here’s a transcript of his comments:

When he found out he’d be able to play: “Yesterday after practice was a turning point for me. Just happy to be back on the floor.”

On expectations for himself and if he expects any rust: “I expect to win. I just expect to go out there and play hard, fight for my teammates and try to win.”

What the team’s response has been: “It’s normal. Try to keep it normal as possible. Just stay upbeat and stay ready to play.”

On how he feels, nervous or anxious: “I feel excited. After being off the floor for 7-8 months I feel very excited to be back on the floor. And hopefully we can get a win.”

On if Friday’s debacle sped up the process: “Nah. Nah. Wasn’t too much that could speed up the process for me.”

On if he expects an adjustment period: “Not sure. It’s going to be different, different getting back in the groove of things, find a rhythm whatever it may be but we’ll take it day by day and try and get better.”

On how he feels he might be better: “Just watching, man. I seen a lot of things just watching the game from a different point of view. Just learning things, learning how guys communicate, just learning the game a lot better.”

On Reggie Jackson’s comments about dunking: “Yeah I was jumping a little bit. Little bit. You know, a little bit.”

On if he feels as explosive: “Yeah, yeah yeah. I feel great. In a good spot, man, I’m happy and blessed to be able to play basketball again and go on the floor and fight for my teammates. First, I want to thank all the fans and my family and friends, and maybe even some of you guys for your support throughout this period. It’s been a tough one, but I’m happy to be back.”

On what he’s missed most: “Just the pregame. Coming in, eating my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and stuff like that. As a player, coming in and getting ready for the game.”

On the experiences for the other players helping: “I think so. Down the road I think it’s early in the year now, everybody’s finding their place and role in this team, but I think it’ll help down the road.”

On the 4-6 week timeline: “I don’t know who made that up in the first place. I was never on that timeline at all. I was just taking it day by day. Taking it one day at a time until I was ready to play.”

On if he’ll still be “Turbo Russ”: “Will I still be Turbo Russ? Of course.”

On coming back at home: “No, goal was just to slow play it. I’ve been slow-playing it. I wanted to play the first game, but I wasn’t ready yet and wanted to get a few more practices under my belt and get my rhythm and find a way to get back on the floor.”

On his conditioning helping: “A lot, man. Rehab is a tough process. I’m going to continue to rehab throughout the season, before the game, whatever I need to do to stay healthy throughout the year. But it’s a tough process, but like I said, I’m thankful for my fans, my family and everybody that’s supported me throughout the process.”

On the positive things said about him recently: “I can’t even. I don’t even know what I would’ve done without someone asking about me or checking on me and I’m really thankful of that, like I said I want to say thank you to everyone for their support and I’m happy to be back on the floor.”

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