Why Did Russell Westbrook Choose #0 as His Lakers Jersey Number?

Published 08/06/2021, 10:51 PM EDT
Dec 29, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook (4) holds the ball next to Chicago Bulls guard Coby White (0) during the first half at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports


In the world of sports, picking up a jersey number has its own importance. It can be about superstition, about building a legacy, or about picking something iconic and doing justice with it. So when Russell Westbrook took his talents to the Lakers, a question hanging around the corner was his probable choice of the digit.

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Now, Russ always had an inclination towards two specific numbers, #4 and #0. This does not come as a surprise because LeBron James has the same obsession for #23 and #6, while Kobe Bryant had it for #24 and #8. 

So what did Russ pick, and why exactly?

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Russell Westbrook chose #0 with the Lakers for a valid reason

On July 29, 2021, the same day as the draft night, it became official that Russell Westbrook was leaving Washington for his hometown in LA. That news more or less overshadowed the draft picks’ relevance because of obvious reasons.

 

Just two days into that announcement, Russ took to Twitter and revealed that the digit hanging on his back would be #0. Now, this is not a major shift because Mr. Triple Double has always worn #0 ever since his college days. In fact, he wore a different number only during his 1-year stint with the Wizards. 

In an interview, he had once explained, “I decided to wear number zero when I entered college because it represented a new beginning, a fresh start.” Makes sense – Maybe he wants to start lifting championship trophies with the Lakers, something he could hardly do earlier.

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But why did Russ pick #4 with the Wizards and not with the Lake Show?

Well, Russell Westbrook’s true love is #4. In Leuzinger High School, Russ donned a #4 but failed to get the number with UCLA because Arron Afflalo already owned it. Later, Nick Collison (OKC) and Danuel House (Rockets) did not allow him to pick that beloved digit. So when he went to Washington, the star grabbed it with both hands.

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Now, with LA, probably the timing of Russ’s decision led to him going back to #0. On July 31, Alex Caruso was still a Laker and a proud owner of #4. However, Kyle Kuzma had obviously left the Lake Show and hence made #0 vacant. So, the 32-YO picked it and posted about it on his official handle with no turning back from there.

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As luck would have it, Caruso left the Lakers just four days into that announcement. So what do you think, did Russ rush his choice? Help us know in the comments section below.

Watch this story – Kobe Bryant and Other Lakers Legends Who Changed Their Jerseys Multiple Times

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Sourabh Singh

1598 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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