Thursday August 27th, 2015

On Tuesday, Russell Westbrook attended a Taylor Swift concert and had a grand old time, but does his affinity for the pop star have an impact on the court?

There has long been a debate over Taylor Swift’s impact on sports. Last fall, MLB.com noted that the San Francisco Giants had won the World Series the last three times she released an album. That seemed to contradict the feeling NHL fans have toward Swift, as she’s brought bad luck to teams a few times. She even distracted Patrick Kane during a game.

That’s why some have said Taylor Swift is bad news for Russell Westbrook.

As it turns out, since they both became stars, Swift and her singles have been good luck charms for Westbrook. Below, we’ve compiled Westbrook’s stats in his first game after Swift drops a new single, starting with the 2011–12 season.

2011–12/Speak Now

Record Release date Game date Opponent W/L FG FGA FG% PTS AST REB
“Safe & Sound” 12/26/11 12/26/11 at T'Wolves Win (+4) 10 21 .476 28 6 6
“Long Live” 3/1/12 3/1/12 at Magic Win (+3) 11 21 .524 29 10 2
“Eyes Open”  3/27/12 3/27/12 at Blazers Win (+14) 16 26 .615 32 8 3
“Both of Us” 5/22/12 5/27/12 at Spurs Loss (-3) 7 21 .333 12 5 5
Season avg. with Swift       3–1 11 22.3 .494 25.3 7.3 4.0
Season avg. overall       47–19 8.8 19.2 .457 23.6 5.5 4.6

2012–13/Red

Record Release date Game date Opponent W/L FG FGA FG% PTS AST REB
“I Knew You Were Trouble” 11/27/12 11/28/12 vs. Rockets W (+22) 6 13 .400 14 9 5
“22” 3/12/13 3/13/13 vs. Jazz W (+23) 6 11 .545 19 9 7
“Highway Don’t Care” 3/25/13 3/27/13 vs. Wizards W (+23) 5 8 .625 21 4 4
Season avg. with Swift       3–0 5.7 10.7 .531 18.0 7.3 5.3
Season avg. overall       60–22 8.2 18.7 .438 23.2 7.4 5.2

2013–14/Red

Record Release date Game date Opponent W/L FG FGA FG% PTS AST REB
“The Last Time” 11/4/13 11/6/13 vs. Mavs W (+14) 10 20 .500 22 4 1
Season avg. with Swift       1–0 10 20 .500 22 4 1
Season avg. overall       34–12 7.5 17.2 .437 21.8 6.9 5.7

Note: Westbrook only played 46 games in 2013-14, missing time due to knee injuries.

2014–15/1989

Record Release date Game date Opponent W/L FG FGA FG% PTS AST REB
“Blank Space” 11/10/14 11/28/14 vs. Knicks W (+27) 12 17 .750 32 8 7
“Style” 2/9/15 2/9/15 at Nuggets W (+10) 8 14 .571 26 9 5
Season avg. with Swift       2–0 10.0 15.5 .645 29.0 8.5 6.0
Season avg. overall       40–27 9.5 22.0 .426 28.1 8.6 7.3

Note: Westbrook suffered an injury on October 30th, three days after the release of Swift’s 1989 

Career totals

  W/L FG FGA FG% PTS AST REB
Career avg. with Swift 9–1 (+137) 9.1 17.2 .529 23.5 6.2 4.5
Career avg. overall 309–198 7.4 17.2 .432 21.1 7.1 5.2

Westbrook has won nine of 10 games after the release of a new single, and the Thunder have outscored opponents by a total of 137 points. He has seen jumps in his field goal percentage each season, and is scoring two more points per game than his career average.

Rock on, Russ. Let’s hope Taylor Swift drops some more singles this year so you and Kevin Durant have a shot at winning a title before he enters free agency next off-season.

- Kenny Ducey

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