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Paul George expects 'nonstop cheering' for Russell Westbrook in OKC return

Paul George was embraced by Thunder fans in late December when he returned to Oklahoma City as an opponent. George received a warm welcome despite spending just two seasons with the Thunder before he asked to be traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. 

That's why George expects "nonstop cheering" for Russell Westbrook, who will return to Chesapeake Energy Arena on Thursday night wearing Rocket red instead of Thunder blue. 

"Russell means way more than I did in Oklahoma and I got a standing O," George told The Washington Post. "So I expect nonstop cheering, nonstop appreciation for what he did. Not only was he an amazing basketball player for them and embraced their community, but he just did so much stuff in that community outside of basketball." 


Westbrook spent 11 seasons with the Thunder before being traded to the Rockets in July. He was a franchise cornerstone, an MVP, a two-time All NBA first-team selection and an eight-time All-Star. 

"I'm guessing the cheering is going to be off the radar — as if it isn't Loud City there already," George said. "He deserves it." 

Related Photos
Paul George of the LA Clippers waves to the crowd during introductions during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the LA Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019. Oklahoma City won 118-112. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

Paul George of the LA Clippers waves to the crowd during introductions during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the LA Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019. Oklahoma City won 118-112. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b217d0c9fb85aae4e2d680ed0ad633ef.jpg" alt="Photo - Paul George of the LA Clippers waves to the crowd during introductions during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the LA Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019. Oklahoma City won 118-112. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title="Paul George of the LA Clippers waves to the crowd during introductions during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the LA Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019. Oklahoma City won 118-112. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Paul George of the LA Clippers waves to the crowd during introductions during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the LA Clippers at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019. Oklahoma City won 118-112. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d5a43ffaf791037fc05797050b42c238.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes up for two points as Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris, left, and Nets center DeAndre Jordan (6) defend the shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes up for two points as Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris, left, and Nets center DeAndre Jordan (6) defend the shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) goes up for two points as Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris, left, and Nets center DeAndre Jordan (6) defend the shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-604d0b1025edb8a13e1d4579feae250e.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Andre Roberson (21) passes after grabbing a rebound in front of Brooklyn Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Andre Roberson (21) passes after grabbing a rebound in front of Brooklyn Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Andre Roberson (21) passes after grabbing a rebound in front of Brooklyn Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-eaae512253edfdb1882806a45e42c506.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan gestures during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan gestures during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan gestures during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-1f11d053944e349350dd98b1f0c7994d.jpg" alt="Photo - Brooklyn Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (9) struggles to control the ball a he engages in a floor scramble with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul, left, and Thunder guard Deonte Burton (30) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. Nets forward Wilson Chandler, upper left, gets in on the tug-of-war. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)" title="Brooklyn Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (9) struggles to control the ball a he engages in a floor scramble with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul, left, and Thunder guard Deonte Burton (30) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. Nets forward Wilson Chandler, upper left, gets in on the tug-of-war. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)"><figcaption>Brooklyn Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (9) struggles to control the ball a he engages in a floor scramble with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul, left, and Thunder guard Deonte Burton (30) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. Nets forward Wilson Chandler, upper left, gets in on the tug-of-war. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-bd2db4d319812e971f713fe6419df58e.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) drives up against Brooklyn Nets guard Garrett Temple (17) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) drives up against Brooklyn Nets guard Garrett Temple (17) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) drives up against Brooklyn Nets guard Garrett Temple (17) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-166cf000c7e568bb8c6909c1da1e12d0.jpg" alt="Photo - Brooklyn Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (9) defends Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)" title="Brooklyn Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (9) defends Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)"><figcaption>Brooklyn Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (9) defends Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-078b105d275bb4191810b5ccd582ce4e.jpg" alt="Photo - Brooklyn Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (9) defends as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) shoots for three points during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 11-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)" title="Brooklyn Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (9) defends as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) shoots for three points during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 11-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)"><figcaption>Brooklyn Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (9) defends as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) shoots for three points during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 11-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c66b9a2713a6c0bc9a886170ed85c263.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) reacts after hitting a three-point shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) reacts after hitting a three-point shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) reacts after hitting a three-point shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c52ad32c9c703d3bd6471d6a9d03cc76.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) passes as Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) passes as Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) passes as Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c8169fcf7ff093b674d6a287668c0a0a.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) defends and Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) watches as Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) goes up for a shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) defends and Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) watches as Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) goes up for a shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) defends and Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) watches as Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) goes up for a shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f665bd7a7d4cde9a2686f51abb73b31a.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) defends as Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) drives to the basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) defends as Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) drives to the basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) defends as Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) drives to the basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a8f8d7eb594fc300ec89733ba01953bb.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) congratulates Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) as the pair return to the bench with guard Terrance Ferguson (23) behind them during a timeout in overtime of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. Paul had 28 points and Gilgeous-Alexander had 22 points to help the Thunder defeat the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) congratulates Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) as the pair return to the bench with guard Terrance Ferguson (23) behind them during a timeout in overtime of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. Paul had 28 points and Gilgeous-Alexander had 22 points to help the Thunder defeat the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) congratulates Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) as the pair return to the bench with guard Terrance Ferguson (23) behind them during a timeout in overtime of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. Paul had 28 points and Gilgeous-Alexander had 22 points to help the Thunder defeat the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3e63e3db1b4d9b90ef5df332874cb027.jpg" alt="Photo - Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) collides with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) as he attempts a shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)" title="Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) collides with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) as he attempts a shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)"><figcaption>Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) collides with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder (17) as he attempts a shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a1c6f0e219e98871b04eebab0fef4f49.jpg" alt="Photo - Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) collides with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) as he goes up attempting two points during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)" title="Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) collides with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) as he goes up attempting two points during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)"><figcaption>Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie (8) collides with Oklahoma City Thunder forward Darius Bazley (7) as he goes up attempting two points during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, in New York. The Thunder defeated the Nets 111-103 in overtime. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)</figcaption></figure>
Joe Mussatto

Joe Mussatto joined The Oklahoman in August 2018 to cover OU football, men’s basketball and softball. He previously covered University of Kentucky football and basketball for SEC Country. Mussatto is from Oklahoma City and lives in Norman. Read more ›

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