Thunder guard Russell Westbrook says his role won’t change this season as the team tries to adjust to the loss of NBA Most Valuable Player Kevin Durant.
Durant is expected to miss the 6-8 weeks after suffering a Jones fracture in his right foot.
Westbrook, who missed 36 games last season because of a knee problem, says he is more focused on the team rather than himself.
“It’s about our team,” Westbrook said, according to the Oklahoman. “I can’t win games by myself. I can’t do anything by myself. I kind of want to take the attention off me and put it on more of the team. Everybody keeps asking what I’m going to do and how I’m going to change. I think it’s more about our team and what we can do to get better and what we can do to be a better team.”
Westbrook averaged 21.8 points, 6.9 assists and 5.7 rebounds in the 46 games he appeared in last season.
Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said he is not going to ask Westbrook to do anything different despite Durant’s absence.
“We’re not asking Russell to be a 35-point scorer, Brooks said. “Obviously he’s going to be a scorer because he can and he does that at a high level. "No one is feeling sorry for us," Brooks said. "I can honestly say I did not receive any text messages from coaches around the league hoping to postpone the season. They're not waiting for us."
The Thunder open the season on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers on Oct. 29.
- Scooby Axson