With each day that passes, the fan base of the Oklahoma City Thunder grows a little more worried that Russell Westbrook hasn’t signed his Designated Veteran Player Extension (DPE). Now that Stephen Curry, James Harden, and John Wall have all extended their contracts using the DPE, Westbrook is the only one left that has the eligibility to sign that type of extension this off-season. The extension, which could pay him as much as $229.5 million over the next 6 seasons, to include this upcoming season, would be the richest contract in sports history in terms of average per year.
The fact that Westbrook hasn’t rushed over to Thunder headquarters and signed the contract yet has given many in the fan base a little bit of pause. Why would someone leave that much money on the table for that long? If any of us were in that position, we would’ve signed the contract at 11:00:01 pm CST on June 30th (remember, the NBA operates out of the Eastern Standard Time Zone, so free agency began at midnight on the East Coast, but 11 pm in Oklahoma).
That’s the problem, sometimes, in thinking like a fan. We tend to look at the fortune and the fame, and forget that athletes are people too. And like many of us, their schedules are sometimes so chock-full of commitments, that it makes it difficult to do something as simple as signing a piece of paper. I know, I know. Making a 5-year commitment to anything should never be compared to just signing a piece of paper. But in essence, that’s all Westbrook has to do to ensure his future. Continue reading Scheduling Conflicts: Why hasn’t Russell Westbrook signed his extension?