Russell Westbrook has agreed to the richest contract extension in NBA history: A five-year $205 million deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The reigning NBA MVP has now secured his future in a team that, for this season at least, will see him play alongside fellow superstars Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news, with the team later confirming a deal without reporting terms.
"I've said it before and I'll say it again, there is no place I would rather be than Oklahoma City," Westbrook said in the team's statement. "I am so honoured to have the opportunity to continue my career here with the Thunder."
Westbrook's extension outdoes the five-year $201 million extension signed by Steph Curry at the Golden State Warriors, and also the four-year $170 million deal for James Harden to remain at the Houston Rockets. However, Harden will earn slightly more per season under his extension, which came on top of an existing contract still worth $59 million - a staggering total of $229 million, running through season 2022-23.
Westbrook is a six-time All Star and twice First Team all-NBA player who averaged a historic triple-double in the past season - joining Oscar Robertson as the only men to achieve the feat. He averaged an NBA-best 31.6 points, along with 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists. His career averages are 22.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game.
The point guard, who also recently signed the richest endorsement deal in the history of Nike's Jordan brand, is now cemented as a league superstar at age 28.
Not long after news of Westbrook's deal came through, social media users noticed a coincidence: The contract was signed on Kevin Durant's birthday of September 29. Given the existing tension between the former teammates since Durant (now 29) defected to Golden State, the coincidence sparked amusement - with some saying it was no coincidence at all.