I don't doubt that there is a chance that Russell Westbrook eventually decides to stay with the Thunder to become the focal point of the team and a hero to the city, thus allowing the front office to surround him with complimentary pieces. The likelihood of that happening, however, is EASILY matched by the likelihood that he changes his mind when he sees teams from every region that is not Oklahoma City fawning over the prospect of acquiring him.
That's why telling a gym full of kids exactly what they wanted to hear may have been the worst decision of Russell Westbrook's entire career. Forget about turning the ball over upwards of 35 times in the 4th quarter of an elimination game against a 73 win team and becoming one of the main reasons that a top 3 player in the entire league decided to join his biggest competition. Potentially lying to children is the most detrimental thing he's ever done to his reputation. The person who would be without blame if he departed for greener pastures just told the only demographic of people that still take athletes at their word that he wasn't going to. Russell Westbrook has put himself in a position to be more hated than Kevin Durant. Not because the circumstances surrounding his possible departure would be anywhere near as vaginal, but because children don't forget SHIT.
It's like the ultimate catch-22. You always want to appease kids. Partly because the joy and happiness that is ever present on their face when you do is heartwarming, but mostly because failing to do so will cause the thankless demons residing behind their wide eyes of innocence to hit you with a guilt trip so dirty that you'd think they learned it at Draymond Green's Summer Camp. Children subconsciously force you to deceive them, but they'll never let it go if you do. Unfortunately Russell Westbrook didn't take that into account when invited hundreds of them to come learn basketball from their role model who could very easily be walking down a different runway a year from now.
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