After the Oklahoma City Thunder won a 114-112 squeaker against the Brooklyn Nets, Thunder star Russell Westbrook took off his sneakers. He stood on the sidelines and picked out a young Thunder fan from the remaining fans in Brooklyn, and gave the little guy his neon green kicks.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) December 6, 2018
It’s adorable, and it’s not the first time Westbrook has done it. In fact, he’s done it a lot this season. He gave a pair of white kicks to another young fan.
Russell Westbrook gives his shoes to a young fan who is barely bigger than the shoes!
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) December 4, 2018
The kid who got Westbrook’s gray and yellow sneakers was the happiest fan in all the land.
— NBA (@NBA) November 29, 2018
Around Thanksgiving, Westbrook tossed a pair to a guy sitting with some friends. The guy actually turned around to look behind him to make sure Westbrook didn’t mean to toss them to someone else.
It’s the season of giving and thanking. #ThisIsWhyWePlay
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) November 22, 2018
And then there was the pizza-shoe trade incident in October. Westbrook tried to convince a young fan to trade a piece of pizza for one of his shoes. The little guy took the shoe and eventually tried to give Westbrook a half-eaten piece of pizza, but Westbrook let the kid keep both.
Westbrook seems pretty devoted to giving his shoes to fans. Jimmy Fallon asked him about that particular habit when Westbrook stopped by “The Tonight Show” on Wednesday. And Westbrook’s answer was perfect.
“I think it’s important especially guys like myself that have a big platform to be able to enjoy the game but the kids get to come to the game and get an opportunity to meet guys like myself and I find out ways to interact with them—jersey, autograph, my shoes. I’ve been giving out my shoes every game to a fan or whoever it may be.
“Sometimes, I wait to see their reaction but a lot of times I give them the shoe and run back and then people come to me afterward, ‘You should have seen his or her reaction.’ It’s usually a shock reaction of the kid and it’s always good.”
It’s as simple as that: Westbrook doesn’t take his position as an NBA player for granted, and enjoys being able to make a kid’s day.
The kid who got Westbrook’s neon green kicks on Wednesday night might want to find a special way to display them. Those are the sneakers he was wearing when he passed Jason Kidd to claim sole possession of third place on the all-time triple-double list, with 108. He now trails just two players: Magic Johnson with 138, and Oscar Robertson with 181.
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