Another Star Bites The Dust: Russell Westbrook Not Coming To Knicks
Kyle Terada, USATI

Now that Russell Westbrook has officially re-upped with the Oklahoma City Thunder, fans of the New York Knicks can stop dreaming.

If you were awake past midnight on the east coast early Thursday morning, scrolling through social media, you were up from some pretty shocking news.

Russell Westbrook, the five-time NBA All-Star, and widely regarded as a top five player in the NBA, signed a three-year, $86 million contract extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder. This shocked many NBA fans, as many expected Westbrook to at least explore the other options he had on the open market, as he was set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2016-2017 campaign.

Westbrook sent a message to the NBA world: I’m not Kevin Durant.

On The Fourth Of July, Kevin Durant announced on The Players’ Tribune his independence from the Thunder and shockingly signed with the Golden State Warriors to create the super team of all super teams. Even though Durant took meetings with several teams, it was expected he would sign back with the Thunder for one more season and try to deliver a championship to Oklahoma City with Westbrook, especially since they came so close as they were up 3-1 against the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals.

Westbrook sent a message to the NBA world: I’m not Kevin Durant.

Everything is speculative in sports and nothing is guaranteed. No one knows this better than New York Knicks fans. Entering the third year of the Phil Jackson era, every Knicks fans pictured this team would have a few playoff wins by now, a superstar player or two, and on the verge of challenging LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Thats what Knicks fans do right? Hypothetical plans, of course, never come true. Instead of playing in the playoffs last year, the Knicks had a losing record without a first round draft pick to show for it.

Jackson was very busy this offseason, adding Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Brandon Jennings, and Courtney Lee to the team. Both Rose and Jennings will be free agents after next season, which of course would make way for Westbrook. According to league sources, Westbrook is a big fan of 21 year-old Knicks sensation Kristaps Porzingis and is impressed by his game. Adrian Wojnarowski also reported that one of the teams that may be on Westbrook’s radar is the New York Knicks, and that they had a real chance of selling him to New York next summer.

All of this smoke and mirrors of course means nothing now, as Westbrook has committed the next three years to bringing Oklahoma City their first major professional sports championship.

Sports fans will respect Westbrook, as he did not take the LeBron James – and now ex-teammate Kevin Durant- route of leaving the only franchise they’ve ever known to create a super team and chase a championship. It will be extremely fun to see Westbrook play like a maniac every game, not having to worry about playing in Durant’s shadow.

For Knicks fans, just add this to the list of hyped up dreams crashing down to reality. Even knowing we advised against trading for Westbrook the fact remains.  Knicks fans have been teased by the idea of LeBron, Durant, and now Westbrook leading their team to the promise land, only to be let down every time. It could be their own fault, taking a few quotes and running away with it, but nevertheless, the Westbrook extension is another dead end to a superstar joining the Knicks anytime soon.

NEXT: Attention Phil Jackson, Do Not Go After Russell Westbrook