Russell Westbrook.

OKC Thunder GM explains why Russell Westbrook was prepared to lead the franchise

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When Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors this summer, the league was thrown into momentary chaos.

How could it be fair for the 2014 MVP to join a side that had just won 73 games and come within one game of lifting the Larry O'Brien trophy? For the second time in a row, no less.

What are the Thunder going to do? Without KD, they may as well start over. Surely they will trade Russell Westbrook? Where will he go?

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Eventually, the hysteria faded. Everyone realised the Warriors are still just a team, and Westbrook realised he wanted to lead the Thunder.

General manager Sam Presti couldn't have been happier when the point guard agreed to a new three-year, $85.7 million contract extension this summer.

Presti offered his opinion as to why Westbrook remained in OKC as he was presented with the Humanitarian of the Year award by the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Golden State Warriors - Game Seven

“The first thing is Russell is a tremendous competitor but also highly intelligent,” Presti said. “He understands that the approach that we have to take in order to maximize ourselves is going to be one first, making sure we’re sound fundamentally and we’re continually growing through the season. That’s always kind of been a staple of the organization."

Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Western Conference
Enes Kanter
Russell Westbrook
Kevin Durant
Steven Adams

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