Saturday, February 24, 2018
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nba

westbrook rewards 'loyalty,' re-signs with thunder for 3 years

OKLAHOMA CITY — A month after Kevin Durant bolted for the Warriors, star guard Russell Westbrook signed a contract extension to stay with the Thunder.

The two sides agreed on a new three-year deal worth $85.7 million, media reports said.

After the announcement Thursday, the team feted Westbrook at an event that was part pep rally and part news conference. He exited a vehicle on a street in front of Chesapeake Energy Arena and briefly addressed a crowd of about 1,500 outside before entering the arena lobby, where highlights of Westbrook's eight-year career with the Thunder were played on a big screen hung from the ceiling.

Westbrook, 27, said at a news conference that people — specifically in the Thunder organization and generally in Oklahoma City — convinced him that staying with the only franchise he has known was the correct decision for him.

"There's nowhere else I would rather be than Oklahoma City," said Westbrook, whose contract had been set to expire after next season. "You guys have basically raised me. I've been here since I was 18, 19 years old. You guys did nothing but great things for me. … Definitely when I had the opportunity to be able to be loyal to you guys, that's the No. 1 option. Loyalty is something that I stand by."

The five-time All-Star averaged 23.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 10.4 assists last season and helped the Thunder reach the Western Conference final, where it lost a 3-1 series lead and fell in seven games to Golden State.

ET CETERA

Autos: Martin Truex signed a two-year deal extension with Furniture Row Racing, keeping him with his NASCAR Sprint Cup team through 2018. Truex, 36, has a spot in this year's Chase for the Championship.

Tennis: Unseeded Yoshihito Nishioka beat fourth-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 to advance to the Atlanta Open quarterfinals. Fifth-seeded Fernando Verdasco beat Julien Benneteau 6-1, 6-3. He faces second-seeded Nick Kyrgios, who beat American wild card Jared Donaldson 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.

Times wires

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