October 11, 2012 BY John Kim
All the recent headlines involving Dwyane Wade and his ground-breaking partnership with Li-Ning has only emphasized the gaping hole left in the Jordan Brand roster of athletes. The failure of the Wade/JB marriage was pretty straightforward; poor sales, unenthusiastic designs, and a general indifference from consumers deemed a furthering of the partnership nonsensical, but the brand that Michael built is ready to move forward in another direction. Jordan Brand has just added Oklahoma City Thunder superstar guard Russell Westbrook to its roster of athletes, joining Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul to replenish the ‘Big Three’; Russell, who has quickly made a name for himself as the undisputed high-flying NBA Guard, played alongside Melo and CP3 during the London Olympics, helping the team win Gold in dominant fashion, and also has deep Playoff and NBA Finals experience.
This exciting development might not have come as surprising news to some, because not only was Westbrook spotted in Air Jordans during NBA Media Day, but he also wore the Jordan Super.Fly during last night’s pre-season match-up against the Houston Rockets. We’re excited to see what Jordan Brand has in store for Russell, so while the full details of this connection hasn’t been released, stay tuned to Sneaker News for more updates on this newfound partnership and let us know if you think Russell will have more success as a brand representative than his predecessor.
BEAVERTON, Ore. (October 11, 2012) –Today, Jordan Brand, a division of NIKE, Inc., announced the signing of Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook. The two-time NBA All-Star has agreed to a multi-year endorsement agreement with the brand.
“We are very excited to welcome Russell to the Jordan family,” said Michael Jordan. “Russell’s style, both on and off the court, combined with his love and dedication to the game make him a perfect fit for the Jordan Brand. We love the drive and passion for basketball that Russell brings.”
Westbrook (6-4, 187) was named to the 2011-12 All-NBA Second Team this past season after helping the Thunder reach their first NBA Finals appearance since moving to Oklahoma City. The dynamic point guard averaged 23.6 points per contest (fifth in the NBA) to go along with 5.5 assists and 4.6 rebounds during the 2011-12 regular season. The Los Angeles native scored 21 points and pulled in five rebounds in his second consecutive NBA All-Star appearance.
Westbrook followed up a very successful NBA season by playing his way onto the USA Men’s National Basketball team for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Playing in a reserve role for Team USA, Westbrook average 8.5 points, 1.6 assists and 1.6 rebounds while appearing in all 8 Olympic contests. His games were highlighted by a 21-point performance in a record-setting Team USA win when the Americans scored an Olympic record 156 points in a 156-73 win over Nigeria.
Westbrook joined the NBA and the Thunder after two seasons at UCLA where he helped lead the Bruins team to back-to-back NCAA Final Four appearances. He was named PAC-10 Defensive Player of the Year while logging 1,318 minutes played, the most by a Bruin since 1979.