Russell Westbrook: Human video game

January, 4, 2011
By Jon Robinson
Russell WestbrookMichael Hickey/US PresswireRussell Westbrook plays defenders like he's playing a game of "NBA 2K11."

The hops. The dimes. The flash. The fire.

Russell Westbrook is everything I want from a video game character, playing that way for real in the NBA.

Luckily for me, I get to control his every move in "NBA 2K11," which Westbrook not only plays religiously, it's a game he reps in order to help spread the message of its greatness, from the virtual return of Michael Jordan to the run-and-gun cyber dominance of his Thunder.

"2K is the 'it' game this year," Westbrook tells me over the phone as we talk video games and hoops. "This game is as real as it gets. It's ultracompetitive, it's so close to what everyone does in real life ... the game is just nice.

"When I play the game, I'm surprised how much the character looks like me. They have my moves in there. It's great."

But Westbrook wasn't always a superstar in the game's eyes. In fact, the star guard still remembers his low rookie ratings.

"Dang, they are hard on you as a rookie," he says with a laugh. "You have to earn your spot in the video game just like you have to earn your spot in real life. The better you play, they'll update your ratings online. It's like you can track how good you are through the game."

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