[Source] - The Thunder were questioned for selecting Westbrook No. 4 overall in the 2008 NBA Draft. But Weaver, who joined the Thunder in May 2008, just weeks before the draft, saw something in Westbrook.
“He (Weaver) told me he was going to a workout and Russ was there two hours early, sleeping in his car,” Durant said. “He was like, ‘Yeah, this is the guy.’
“That’s a cool story to know because you never know what triggers these GMs to fall in love with a player. For him to point that out to me shows that he enjoys blue-collar, hardworking guys. I appreciated that time when we spent two or three minutes together here and there to just talk about the game, talk about how he viewed players. That really shaped how I viewed the game outside of just hoopin’. I attribute a lot of that to Troy.”
This might be the most Russ thing ever. The dude is a lunatic and has always been someone who was known for being in the gym at all times. Like that's not a fake Instagram thing when you see him back in the gym after a game or shit like that. That's why I love this. Also kinda hilarious to hear Durant be like 'yeah this is the guy' and the story of that version of the Thunder being Russ/Durant unable to play together. I still question just how true that is, like yeah it played a role in it. But they were also fucking successful playing together.
And yeah, if you remember Russ was seemed as a bit of a reach when they took him No. 4. Don't get me wrong he was good at UCLA but he wasn't THIS Russ. He was picked in front of Kevin Love, Eric Gordon and some others that were all viewed as the 'safer' pick or something like that when he went.
At the same time all I can picture is Willy Mays Hayes here:
So this whole story though is predicated on the Thunder hiring Troy Weaver as their GM. It's a hell of a hire. The Thunder are a weird organization when you look at payroll concerns, the talent they've drafted and how they blew it all up. They've missed on trades, but they've hit on picks. But they are an incredibly well respected front office and now Weaver is in Detroit.