Former WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne Reveals How Russell Westbrook Helped Her Get Back From Injury

Published 08/10/2021, 1:00 AM EDT
Dec 29, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) reacts after a shot against the Chicago Bulls during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Westbrook has finally returned home to LA to compete for a championship. The Lakers pulled off a blockbuster deal with the Wizards in order to land Russ, one of the most athletic point guards in the history of the NBA. He has proved repeatedly that he is one of the best in the league.


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Russ plays with mean aggression while on the court. This goes to show his competitive nature and his drive and his determination towards basketball. However, Westbrook is not the mean assassin off the court, as he is often seeing doing charity work and always helping out the less unfortunate.

Mar 29, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) reacts after a three point basket against the Indiana Pacers during the fourth quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

He is also a great mentor and friend for other basketball players. 2 time WNBA MVP, Elena Delle Donne explains how Russell helped her get through a tough injury.


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Russell Westbrook is one of Elena’s biggest helpers through injury

Washington Mystics’ Elena spoke about how it was Westbrook who helped her to get through her back injury. Elena has not played in the WNBA since 2019 because of injuries. She went through 2 back surgeries in a one-year span, causing her to miss out. However, she is on course to return in the second half of the season, and she gives Russ a lot of credit for being there.

She says that during his time in Washington, Russell Westbrook would come in way early and rebound for her. He became the helping hand that she needed to get through her tough time. Westbrook would even turn up on game days just to help Elena with her rehab.

Delle Donne helped Washington to their first WNBA title in 2019. Shockingly, she played through the finals with three herniated discs and has been out ever since. Before the back surgery, the six-time All-Star powered through a broken nose.

Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) reacts after hitting a three pointer during the first quarter of the game between the Washington Wizards and the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday, March 13, 2021. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

It is great to see that there is no drama between NBA and WNBA players. Russ is one of the kindest people in the league and this just shows his off-court persona. However, this is not the first time Russ has taken an initiative to help others.

Why Not foundation

Westbrook has always been a man who gives back. Likewise, he has his own foundation, called the ‘Why Not’ foundation. Moreover, he also works with the league’s community organization, NBA Cares.

Apr 28, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) jokes with Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) after their game at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Named after Westbrook’s famous line, ‘Why Not’, the foundation aims to inspire and empower children. It also teaches them to never give up and mainly ask themselves ‘why not?’ While working with his foundation, Russ has done all kinds of charitable work.


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From giving back to the community to giving out meals to the needy, he has contributed in any way that he can. Westbrook has made it his mission to help the children and families who are in need and make their lives better. It just proves the kind of person Russell Westbrook is.


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He may come at you on the court, but off the court, he is a kind and generous man.

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Anuj Talwalkar

271 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.