EDMOND, Okla. -- Russell Westbrook, known for his brevity, didn't take long to explain on Sunday why he decided to sign an extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder that keeps him with the franchise through 2022-23.
"I like where I'm at," Westbrook said.
The Thunder held an outdoor ceremony prior to an intrasquad scrimmage at a local high school as thousands of fans gathered to celebrate Westbrook's signing with chants of "MVP" and "loyalty" ringing out.
Westbrook signed the largest contract in NBA history on Friday, $205 million over five years. Including this season, Westbrook is owed $233 million over the next six years. He could have become an unrestricted free agent next summer but elected to sign with the Thunder early, removing any doubt about his future.
"I wasn't worried," he said about potential distractions. "See, that's what I keep trying to tell you, I wasn't really worried about it because I know I wanted to be -- it didn't -- obviously with the time and everything, that's part of the job, but I wasn't really worried, man. I was really just focusing on just being at home and embracing that time.
"My focus never shifted. I mean, obviously I didn't talk to you guys, so you guys were kind of making up your own assumptions, but my focus never changed. For me, you know, taking my time, family is the most important thing to me, and that's what I was focused on. When it's time to focus on basketball I do that, and that's it."
The Thunder completed two blockbuster trades over the summer, adding Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, while also strengthening their position to re-sign Westbrook. Westbrook said the moves were nice to see, but not necessarily deciding factors in re-upping with OKC.
"Obviously they made moves to improve our team, and being able to play for a championship and being able to play at a high level is something that I want to do every single year, and those moves proved that," Westbrook said.
Westbrook signed the extension after letting it sit on the table for the summer. Westbrook said last week at media day that he just hadn't gotten around to signing, with him becoming a father and doing some traveling. As for the timing, Westbrook said he'd rather not provide an explanation.
"I'd prefer not to do that," he said. "We have a great relationship, myself and [GM] Sam [Presti], and we talk about many different things. We have a good relationship where we don't have to make sure everybody knows exactly the time and date when I told him, but all that matters is we're on the same page about everything and me taking the summer to enjoy the things that I discussed already."