The Evolution of Russell Westbrook's Sneaker Style
Russell Westbrook is simply one of the greatest players to ever hit the hardwood. From his college debut with UCLA to his stratospheric rise with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he's racked up stats and toppled triple-double records along the way. He's also racked up stacks, last year signing Jordan Brand's most expensive deal ever.
But he's known just as much for his devil-may-care approach to fashion as his preternatural abilities on the court. Hell, he was named Sports Illustrated's 'Most Fashionable Athlete' of 2017 and has released a book, Style Drivers.
Did this sartorial suave appear out of the blue? According to Mr Triple-Double himself, no. He's been pushing the fashion boundaries since the early days. Indulge us though, and come along as we look back at some of Mr W's best on- and off-court sneaker looks.
UCLA to OKC
Fresh-faced Russell Westbrook hit the UCLA court in 2006, beginning a stellar college career that would see him land in the NBA just two years later.
While we know him now as a Jordan man through-and-through, he wasn’t always rocking the Jumpman. In the late 00s, the Bruins were signed with adidas, so Russell made his name wearing the Three Stripes. Whether it was sinking jumpshots against Oregon State in TS Pro Models, trouncing the Huskies in KG Bounces or tackling the Wildcats in A3 Bounce Artillery IIs, Mr Westbrook came out on top.
They must’ve done something right though; he was picked up as fourth overall draft pick by the Seattle Supersonics/OKC Thunder in 2008.
The Middle Years
Before he was the modern face of the Jumpman, Mr. Westbrook was partial to the Nike Hyperfuse. The lightweight, moulded construction suited his fiery playing style to a tee, and served up everything a point guard needs on the hardwood. His contract with the Swoosh was just a sign of things to come under the Jumpman, and he was treated to a bountiful array of teched-out ballers.
Since 2012, Westbrook has cemented his reputation as one of the greats. With an Olympic gold, a yearly inclusion in the All-Star team and triple-double records coming out his ears, he put an end to his brief sneaker free agency and inked with Jordan Brand after his time with the Swoosh.
Though it would take a few years for the signature models to roll off the production line, his first few seasons were littered with Jordan Brand PEs the riff raff can only dream about. 'Why Not' Air Jordan 10s, OKC Jordan Superflys, the list goes on.
Westbrook, Why Not
By 2015, the OKC point guard was known almost as much for his flamboyant off-court style as his explosive on-court performances. It made total sense, then, that his first signature shoe with the Jumpman was a lifestyle silhouette. The Westbrook versions 0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 saw Russell cement his place in the fashion realm and represented a departure from JB’s performance offerings.
In 2017, with his star well-and-truly risen, the Brodie finally got his first performance signature — the Why Not Zer0.1. Adopting Westbrook’s personal motto, ‘Why not?,’ the shoe is appropriately crazy; weird angles and striking proportions abound.
Pregame's Where It's at
Outside of his signatures, he keeps pretty close to the Swoosh and its subsidiaries, though always in a thoroughly Westbrook way. Off-White Converse? He pairs them with a powder blue suit. Double Denim? Pfft, more like quadruple denim for Mr Triple-Double, who capped-off his look with Levis x Jordan 4s. But he’s not always out for the hype flex either and is just as likely to walk the pregame gauntlet in velvet slip-ons or a pair of stacked Dr Martens — you know, whatever the look calls for.
If there’s one thing to say, Russell always keeps us guessin'. But with this week’s Why Not Zer0.2 debut, odds are there’ll be a lot more of those in his future.