Just before the tenth permanent season of NBA basketball in Oklahoma City the franchise may have received its biggest news to date when Russell Westbrook signed the biggest contract in NBA history, keeping him with the Thunder for five more seasons.
While all of Oklahoma City may have stressed out about him resigning during the offseason, 'hero zero' didn't stress at all.
"I wasn't worried," Russell Westbrook said. "That's what I keep trying to tell you. I wasn't really worried about it because I know where I want to be. Obviously with the time and everything that's a part of the job, but I wasn't really worried. I was really just focusing on just being at home and embracing that time."
An estimated 4,500 fans cheered and chanted for their 'hero zero' on Sunday afternoon.
The celebration included a tribute video featuring Russ' brother, Ray, kid's dancing wearing Westbrook's wardrobes from the past leaving an impression on the NBA MVP.
"I feel honored and blessed," Westbrook said. "It`s just something that you just can`t make up. You can`t reenact the people here. They`re genuine. They love me, they love the team and they stay strong to that. That`s something you don`t find in many places."
Having new teammates to toss the ball like Paul George and Carmelo Anthony may have helped too.
"They made moves to improve our team," Westbrook said. "Being able to play for a championship, and play at a high level is something that I want to do every single year. Those moves proved that."
After that some basketball was played.
Westbrook didn`t participate, but said he`d be good to go.
Paul George brought the crowd to its feet then Steven Adams slammed this ball home.
Kid Kiwi had 13 points.
George then stole one to set up a soaring Terrance Ferguson in the Thunder rookie`s public debut.
"It was unbelievable," Ferguson said. "It`s a small gym, but it was loud in here. It was super loud. I can`t even wonder how loud Chesapeake Arena is like."
Carmelo Anthony dropped in an effortless eleven points.
While Paul George poured in 30 points, and added an exclamation point in late to help the white team to roll to a 75-42 win on an afternoon appreciated by the Thunder.
"The people are just incredibly supportive," Billy Donovan, Thunder head coach, said. "I think our guys really, really enjoy coming into these venues. I think they have a great time. Because it`s intimate I think they get a chance to connect with all the fans, and we just appreciate all the support with people coming out the way they do."