Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook recently landed a photo spread in GQ magazine. He sat with Lang Whitaker and discussed his style on and off the court. Read more after the jump.
GQ: I know you’re from California but did you grow up in Los Angeles?
Russell Westbrook: I’m from inner city L.A.
GQ: And were you a Laker fan growing up? Or the Clippers?
Russell Westbrook: You know what? My dad and my Mom were Lakers fans, but I wasn’t like a die-hard Lakers fan, not really. I was kind of a fan, but not die-hard. I was definitely a basketball fan, but my first sport was football.
GQ: Who was your basketball idol growing up?
Russell Westbrook: Magic Johnson was my favorite player growing up.
GQ: The way you play point guard is pretty unique in the NBA, or at least unique in terms of what historically has been thought of from a point guard. Did you realize that coming up? Did you know you played a style all your own?
Russell Westbrook: Definitely. I was always wilder and fast, and on the floor I always kind of played out of control when I was younger. So I knew I played the position differently than everybody else did. But they didn’t make me feel different about it.
GQ: One thing about the Playoffs that was a lot of fun was your outfits during the press conferences. Did you know you had made it when everyone on the TNT set was wearing your shirt and glasses that night?
Russell Westbrook: That was pretty funny. I didn’t even know that was happening until after our game, and then everybody kind of told me. But that was interesting.
GQ: When did you get interested in fashion?
Russell Westbrook: Just growing up. My Mom and I shopped all the time, she shops all the time, and I was always into fashion. I’ve been blessed to be in a situation where I can now buy some of the things that look good.
GQ: Now as you’ve aged and you can buy your own stuff, what’s interesting to you?
Russell Westbrook: I look for the different stuff, man. I’m confident in some of the things that I wear, regardless of what other people are wearing. I just try to find what looks good on me. I shop all the time, basically every day, whether it’s online or in every city we go to.
GQ: Which outfit during the Playoffs last year got the most attention?
Russell Westbrook: It was probably that first one. Honestly, I didn’t even think people would get it. I just thought it was a nice shirt, classic, something I’ve been doing for a while. I just kind of threw on what I had already. I wasn’t trying to make a fashion statement, it just kind of happened that way.
GQ: But you had to know those red glasses were going to get some attention.
Russell Westbrook: Well, see, I didn’t. I don’t really pay no mind to it. I kind of just see it, and I get it. If I like it, I’ll wear it regardless of what’s going on or if somebody says something or not.
GQ: When you wear those glasses, do they have lenses in them or no?
Russell Westbrook: No, no, nine times out of ten, no. Some of them do, but not most of them, no.
GQ: Do you need glasses?
Russell Westbrook: Nah. I have the best vision.
GQ: Do you have a stylist or talk to a stylist at all?
Russell Westbrook: Nah. I mean, I have different people who can help me get shoes early or whatever, but putting stuff together and buying stuff, I kind of just do it on my own. I choose what looks good and go from there. I take a lot of time and see what looks good.
It’s pretty cool the way he draws a connection between his style on and off the court.
It’s kind of like, I have a certain taste in clothes, and I might be like, “I like this,” when other people are like, “I can’t wear that.” And basketball, I might be able to do this at this position, while other guys might not think they can. So it kind of goes hand in hand.
The way he chooses to dress is different from the crowd just like the way he plays as a point guard is unusual as well. Read more of the interview at GQ.