Westbrook even ran over to a corner of the court and exhorted the crowd before the tip, just like he did when he played for the Thunder.
Westbrook was still the highest scorer in the game, pouring in 34 points and dishing out five assists in a Thunder victory.
Perkins played with both Westbrook and Durant on the Thunder for three-and-a-half seasons.
So when Westbrook first returned to Oklahoma City, there was little doubt about how he would be received by Thunder fans. "I feel like I left everything on the floor every night and did what I could for the city".
The Thunder have done the return game before.
Those same phrases and statistics were on the special-edition Jordan WhyNot Zer0.3 shoes Westbrook wore during the game. It's just I felt like I was playing, back at Chesapeake. "Obviously, the best fans in the world, because they come with it, and tonight they came with it".
"The energy was incredible", said Paul. I mean the crowd is always great, but we knew it was going to be a different energy tonight with Russ's first game here and I want say, you & # 39; I have to get excited during player introductions. "Plain and smile. I didn't get this feeling like it was weird". Westbrook exchanged hugs and handshakes at midcourt with ex-teammates such as Steven Adams, Terrance Ferguson and Dennis Schroder, as well as young Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was the centerpiece of the return in the George trade. It was a bit odd for him at the start of the game when the crowd he encountered fever so often cheered the other team on during a run with the Rockets on their heels. "I think it was a way for people to show their appreciation for what he's done", said Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan. I don't regret anything I've done here.
After the game, Westbrook embraced several Thunder players, then went over and hugged Thunder owner Clay Bennett.
Russell Westbrook was the guy who stayed.