The Oklahoma City Thunder are currently in Spain to play two pre-season games against Euroleague teams Real Madrid and FC Barcelona Lassa as part of the NBA Global Games Europe 2016. As part of their trip, the team visited the Santiago Bernabeu stadium yesterday, where Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid CF drew 1-1 to Eibar.
Five-time NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook had the chance to meet up with Real Madrid’s superstar Cristiano Ronaldo after the game as the two posed for a picture while swapping jerseys. The Oklahoma City Thunder will take on Real Madrid at the Barclaycard Center tonight and will then move to Barcelona to play against FC Barcelona Lassa.
Q. What do you expect from the upcoming season with so many new names in the roster?
Westbrook: “Well, just to play, man, I think have fun. I think the most part in basketball you is want to have fun. I think that’s the biggest thing for our team is just make sure guys have fun and embrace the moment.”
Q. What are the objectives of OKC this season? What are your expectations for the team?
Westbrook: “Win. The main focus is to win a championship every year, and that’s what I’m going to try to do on both sides of the ball. Leadership wise, as well but just come in and find ways to help our team win a championship.”
Q: What do you think of Oklahoma being stronger this season?
Westbrook: “I think we have a lot of size, different positions and different styles of play, different guys across the world and I’m looking forward to it.”
Q. How do you see your role in the team following the exit of Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka?
Westbrook: “I mean, it’s definitely different. It’s not the same. Just missing Kevin, Deon [Waiters], Serge [Ibaka], been with Serge, the same amount of time. Different guys but I’m happy, ready to start camp with the new guys and embrace the moment.”
Q. How do you want this team to play?
Westbrook: “I want the team to play how they want to play, I mean, it’s not totally up to me how we play. You know, guys, you have to adjust to how guys play. My job is to adjust how Steven [Adams] and Dre [André Roberson] and those guys gotten better. You have to adjust to the team you have and adjust night-in, night-out basis on how you want to play. You want to play fast some nights and you want to play slow. I think it depends on the game, on the situation, who is on the floor.”
Russell Westbrook wasn’t the only member of Oklahoma City Thunder to talk to the media, Kyle Singler spoke of his joy at being back in Spain: “Being able to play for two different teams. I played for a smaller club called Alicante. My experience there was an amazing one. Teammates were great, coaches were really good. Then once I moved to Madrid, I had the same experience. My teammate were really friendly, they made me pretty comfortable and the coaching was solid to. When I reflect on the basketball, teammates sure stand out. Just the culture of the fans and how they embrace the players. Of course I miss it. If I had a chance to go back, I definitely would. That feeling of being on a team that you’re there to compete and try to do something different that many typically wouldn’t do is amazing to me. But I want to be in the NBA as long as I can. It’s the best.”
The Oklahoma City Thunder will take on Euroleague Basketball teams Real Madrid (Oct 3) and FC Barcelona Lassa (Oct 5) as part of NBA Global Games Europe 2016 presented by BBVA. You can watch both games live on BT Sport
Source: Pitch London