Dennis Schroder inspired by Russell Westbrook
It did not take long for Dennis Schroder of the Oklahama City Thunder to give some love to his new teammate. He recently shared in his Instagram story that 2017 NBA Most Valuable Player and new teammate Russell Westbrook has served as an inspiration to him.
Aside from Westbrook, he also mentioned future Hall-of-Famer and fellow German Dirk Nowitzki as one of his inspirations. This comes as no surprise as Dirk is the greatest basketball player to come from Germany. He mentioned back when he was rookie that “every German player looks up to him” and that Dirk served as a guide for him.
The Thunder acquired Schroder on July 25, 2018 in a three-team deal with the Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Schroder was the full-time starter for the Hawks for two consecutive seasons and was already being groomed to be their point guard of the future.
However, it became apparent that plans have changed when they selected Trae Young with the 5th overall pick of this year’s draft. Moreover, they also traded for guard Jeremy Lin, further indicating that they also had no plans to keep him as a back-up.
Schroder played behind Jeff Teague in his first three years in the league before taking over starting point guard duties back in the 2016-2017 season. With the Thunder, he gets to play that role again, this time behind franchise superstar Russell Westbrook.
Despite the reduced role, Schroder was reportedly excited to be part of the team, and understood his role as the Sixth Man. He also apparently spoke with Sam Presti and Billy Donovan even prior to the trade, as per Royce Young on Twitter, which indicates that he is all in on his place with the Thunder.
Schroder, however, has not seemed to find his niche yet in the NBA. His reputation as a legitimate starter in the league has taken a hit after his days in Atlanta went sour. But perhaps he will find his way in Oklahoma City with his inspiration helping him along the way.