Gilbert Arenas Urges Russell Westbrook to Take His Famous No. 0 Jersey at Wizards

Published 12/04/2020, 5:30 AM EST
SAITAMA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 08: Russell Westbrook #0 of Houston Rockets dribbles up court against the Toronto Raptors on October 8, 2019 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage)


Jersey numbers hold a lot of significance to most players. They are like a sense of identity for them. Russell Westbrook has been carrying #0 since his time in UCLA, through eleven seasons with Oklahoma City Thunder and a brief one season with the Houston Rockets. However, it looks like he might have to make an enormous change as he moves to the Washington Wizards.

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Russell Westbrook wasn’t his best during his stay with the Rockets. He was brought in to be the second scoring-option behind James Harden and give him a second superstar to bank on. However, both prefer control over the ball, and with Harden as the face of the franchise, Westbrook did not get to be the primary ball-handler.

Not only that, but their chemistry just did not sit right. After a disappointing season, both Harden and Westbrook requested a trade. But only Russell’s request has been granted for now. They traded him to the Washington Wizards for John Wall.

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Sep 4, 2020; Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA; Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) reacts after a play during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers in game one of the second round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy Reuters

It is expected that Westbrook will be a brilliant match with Wizards’ Bradley Beal. But we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves, because that’s exactly what we thought when Westbrook was paired with Harden. But before they play, setting a jersey number is important, and this has been a point of discussion given the Wizards’ recent addition.

Did Gilbert Arenas give Russell Westbrook his blessing?

The Number 0 has become relatively popular in the league these days. However, it was Gilbert Arenas’ seven-year stint with the Wizards that made this choice so popular. Although nothing was made official, it looked like the Wizards had retired the jersey.

Since Arenas was moved to the Orlando Magic, nobody has been allowed to pick that number. So, when Westbrook came in, who for most of his career has worn the number zero, questions arose about what the Wizards will do. But it looks like Gilbert doesn’t mind Westbrook taking over his number at all.

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Gilbert commented on the goodbye note Westbrook published for the Rockets on Instagram. It said, “0 is all u Brodie. It will be a honour.”

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Although Arenas’ gesture was very beautiful, Westbrook has reportedly taken the No. 4 instead. No doubt Westbrook is a star. So, changing his number won’t take away from how much he can contribute. Do you think his future with the Wizards will be bright?

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Yashima Bhatia

1196 articles

Yashima Bhatia is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports who specialises in providing nuanced predictions and updates for matches. She has a Bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Yashima's love for playing the game came up at a young age, when the excitement of the games coupled with the intensity of the Playoffs had her hooked.

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