Basketball is full of stars we all want to admire, although some names in specific come to mind.
If you ask us, there are way too many players who deserve a space in our hearts, and if you are a fan of the sport, we are confident you understand what we are talking about.
Among those people remember yet place below players like Stephen Curry and Lebron James, there’s Russell Westbrook, a great sportsman who has nothing to envy from the previous men.
He is one of the most popular players of this new decade, and people are just going wild and more than crazy over him, kind of including us. But besides being a basketball player, does Russell have a deeper talent? Maybe for businesses?
We will get to know about his career but also venture with the money he has earned. By the end of this article, you will learn more than just the titles but rather the zeros and businesses he has in his pockets.
Young Star: Russell’s Childhood & Early Years
Unlike other basketball players, Russell’s childhood will be a bit “short” in terms of history. But it won’t be less interesting and, sadly, even tragic considering some of the events that took place in his life.
For starters, Russell Westbrook III was born in Long Beach, California, on November 12, 1988. However, he was raised in Hawthorne with his mother Shannon, father Russell Sr., and younger brother Raynard.
His dad was a basketball legend who taught Westbrook how to play the game. Both his mother and father also made sure that their boys were focused on academics, which led Russell to become an honor student during his school and high school years.
One person was the closest to a best friend during his childhood and the second brother he has ever had: Khelcey Barrs.
As a 5’8″ freshman at Leuzinger High School, Lawndale, California, Westbrook was not much noticed.
However, Russell and Khelcey Barrs dreamed of playing basketball at UCLA, giving each other great support. Unfortunately, in a pick-up game, Barrs, who suffered from an undiagnosed, enlarged heart, died in a scrimmage at Leuzinger High School in 2004.
Following this incident, as a junior, Westbrook was able to make it into the starting line-up.
That summer, he experienced a huge growth spurt and became a top college basketball prospect. He averaged over 25 points per game as a senior and dunked for the first time.
Thanks to his great performance during his high school years, Westbrook was then recruited by Ben Howland at UCLA.
As a sophomore, Westbrook was athletic and explosive, helping UCLA reach the Final Four in both seasons he played with the team.
Finally, The Seattle Supersonics selected him with the fourth overall selection in the 2008 NBA draft and officially became the Oklahoma City Thunder just a few days later.
The Rise of a Star – Westbrook’s Professional Career
The last part of the previous segment definitely gave you a spoiler of what is expected from his professional career, and we can tell you in advance that it won’t disappoint you.
Officially, Westbrook signed with the Thunder on July 5, 2008, and this contract was followed by him scoring an average of 15.3 points per game during his first season and was named to NBA All-Rookies First Team.
In his second season, he was a full-time player, and the Thunder reached the playoffs thanks to the player’s effort and his stunning performance on the team.
Russell’s record score of 43 points on November 26, 2010, was a career-high by the time he was playing with the team.
He was also selected to participate in the NBA All-Star Game in 2011 and named to the All-NBA 2nd Team in the same year. These were two honors that he would again experience in 2012.
During 2012, the Thunder also reached the NBA Finals, and Westbrook became the first player since Michael Jordan with 25+ points and 10+ assists for this game.
Russell was also a member of the 2012 Summer Olympic team and brought home a gold medal that is definitely one of the greatest achievements of his career so far.
2013 saw the Thunder reach the playoffs as the Western Conference’s #1 seed. Unfortunately, Russell was injured in the second round of the playoffs, yet he scored 29 points but later discovered that his meniscus had been torn.
After undergoing surgery on April 27, 2013, he was unable to play in the remainder of the playoffs.
He also had to undergo a second operation before the 2013-14 season started. This meant that he missed the first two games.
After Christmas, Westbrook had an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee. He did not return to the team until February 20, 2014, when the Thunder were about to participate in the Western Conference Finals in March 2014, which they lost in game 6.
Russell broke the second metacarpal of his right hand during the 2014-15 season and was forced to miss 14 games, which greatly impacted his career after the previous injury.
Still, he scored 48 points against New Orleans Pelicans in 2015 (a record he would break a month later against Philadelphia 76ers) and was named All-Star MVP for scoring 41 points during the NBA All-Star Game.
Kevin Durant and Westbrook were named Western Conference co-Players of the Month in January 2016. That year Westbrook played his first All-Star Game and was again named MVP.
With the exit of Durant during this year, the Thunder offered Russell a 3-year contract and an $85.7 million extension in August 2016 to secure him for the team, which he took.
Following the contract, Russell just continues to break more records and play the best he could.
He broke his career record by scoring 58 points against Portland Trail Blazers in March 2017. Later that year, he was awarded the NBA Most Valuable Player Award.
After the season ended, he signed a new contract extension with Thunder in September 2017. The difference? This was a 5-year that included a $205million deal.
After a series of injuries that forced him to miss several games, the Thunder decided to trade him in 2019 for Chris Paul.
Unlike what you might think, he isn’t in the Rockets.
Currently, Russell plays for Los Angeles Lakers but after playing for the Washington Wizards in the 2020-21 season.
Russell Westbrook Achievements – Quick Look at His Career
- NBA Most Valuable Player (2017).
- Nine times NBA All-Star (2011–2013, 2015–2020).
- Two times NBA All-Star Game MVP (2015 and 2016).
- Two times All-NBA First Team (2016 and 2017).
- Five times All-NBA Second Team (2011–2013, 2015, and 2018).
- Two times All-NBA Third Team (2019 and 2020).
- Two times NBA scoring champion (2015 and 2017).
- Three times NBA assists leader (2018, 2019, and 2021).
Salary, Endorsement & Net Worth: How Much Does He Earn?
Like every athlete, Russell receives money from his career as a basketball player, but from inside and outside the court.
Many would believe that his salary is everything he has, but endorsements, sponsors, and many other sources are included in the zeros the star makes every year.
Thus, where should we start? Probably with the logical part: His on-the-field earnings.
According to Forbes, Westbrook has a net worth estimated at $59 million, from which $33 are from on-the-field earnings and $26 from off-the-field ones.
The five-year contract he signed with Thunder in 2017 was one of the main reasons his net worth increased over the last couple of years, and it was even the biggest-ever contract regarding total value at the time.
Although he parted from the team not long after, he still received his payment according to the seasons he played.
Many don’t know that Russell’s current salary is at $41.36 million, which is quite close to what he was offered back in 2017.
In fact, he was the best-paid NBA player the last season, competing with people like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and others.
But enough of the salary, what about the off-the-field earnings?
There aren’t exact numbers for each of the businesses, investments, and deals he has with some brands, but the total of $26 million sure comes from somewhere.
The basketball star owns ten car dealerships in the Los Angeles area, which is a great part of his income every year. Some estimate he earns about $10 million from them alone.
However, he also has a deal with Nike’s Jordan brand, which was extended in 2017 for ten years additionally, and in 2018, he got his first signature shoe, which added more money based on the agreement with the company.
PepsiCo and Samsung are also included on his list of endorsements and sponsors. With all of them together, the remaining $16 million can be perceived.
Charity & Foundation – His Social Impact
Money moves the world even when you might like it or not, so contributing as much as you can when you make millions should be something natural, right?
Well, Russell believes this and has made sure to positively impact society and other people’s lives with the donations and foundations he helps with.
The main and only foundation he has officially started is Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation in 2012.
What is the foundation trying to achieve? It aims to inspire children’s lives by providing support and education to as many as the charitable organization is able to.
According to the foundation’s website, it “is dedicated to supporting community-based education and family service programs while encouraging youth to believe in themselves.”
Through his foundation, he also made contributions to charitable causes that haven’t been announced.
Some of the donations made public include one to the City of Los Angeles Angeleno Fund and the Houston Storm relief program.
The latter included $100k plus over 650 computers to children in the area while also contributing with other organizations and healthcare centers amid the Coronavirus crisis.
When it comes to him as a public figure, he is quite private but also has made sure to show his beliefs and goals in life: Equality and more opportunities for children.
7 Game-Changing Quotes by Russell Westbrook
- “I’m never satisfied. I’m always trying to get better and learn from my mistakes.”
- “There’s no reason to hold yourself back and say you can’t do something in life unless you go for it and try to do it.”
- “I have fears, but I do not fear anything or anybody on the court.”
- “Be yourself and true to yourself. You can do different things in the world.”
- “I say, ‘Why not’ to everything.”
- “Be yourself. It’s the most important part of anything that you do. It’s not fashion. It can be whatever you want to do.”
- “If I get to know somebody, I’ll open up, but other than that, I like to sit back and observe things.”
Here’s Our #1 Recommended Online Business Model: