Talk About Loyalty! Russell Westbrook Took The Biggest Pay Cut In NBA History To Stay With The Los Angeles Clippers

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Andrew Powell Sports and Entertainment Blogger
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Russell wanted to stay in Los Angeles — clearly.

When superstar Russell Westbrook was on the Lakers in the 2022-23 season, the struggle was real for the Los Angeles native. However, when he was traded midseason to the crosstown Clippers, he went back to being old Russ and led the way for the team as the starting point guard. In fact, Westbrook had such an impact that the Clippers made it a priority to re-sign him in the offseason — mission successful.

Not many shock waves resulted when the news was originally announced Saturday. After all, the Clippers wanted Russ, and Russ wanted the Clips. But how Westbrook re-signed with Los Angeles is starting to make people’s eyes pop, as Russell‘s new deal broke a league record (and in absolutely crazy fashion).

Westbrook remained with the Clippers on a two-year, $7.8 million contract, which features a player option for the second season. In other words, Russ will make $3.9 million next season, which is a dramatic — and I mean dramatic — drop off from the $47 million salary that he had in the 2022-23 campaign, according to HoopsHype. And the whopping pay cut actually makes NBA history as the biggest ever.

Man, that’s a crazy amount of money to give up, but I respect his loyalty to Los Angeles.

The thing is, Russell Westbrook has already made over $300 million in career earnings, so it’s not like he’s desperate for the money or anything. And Westbrook got to kill two birds with one stone with this deal: 1. He gets to stay in his hometown of Los Angeles, and 2. He gives the Clippers a ton of flexibility to be a championship contender next season. (James Harden incoming?)

It sounds like Russ actually set himself up nice here. Yeah, he’s gotta give up a crap load of money to make it happen, but it’s a nice setup. And as a Miami guy who loves his city, I could see myself doing the same thing with the Heat if I was in the NBA and in a situation like this. I would just wanna be in the 3-0-5 in a Heat jersey. That would be far more important than money, so I get it. I definitely get it. (RELATED: The Plot Thickens! Tyler Herro Makes Cryptic Twitter Moves, Adding Speculation That Damian Lillard Is Headed To Miami)

Shoutout to Russell Westbrook, man. Doing it big for the city that he loves.