Jerami Grant enjoys playing with Russell Westbrook.
The 24-year-old forward, who has been with the Oklahoma City Thunder since November 2016, was asked about the narrative that Westbrook is a poor team-mate during a recent interview with USA Today’s HoopsHype.
“That’s just ignorant,” Grant said.
“Russ is a great team-mate and a great person. Players obviously want to play with him … I think that’s a huge misconception in the media and I don’t know why it’s said. He’s a great player and everyone wants to play with great players because we all want to win.”
Grant agreed to a three-year, $27 million contract extension with the Thunder when free agency began July 1. Star forward Paul George also re-signed with Oklahoma City.
The Thunder traded Carmelo Anthony to the Hawks in exchange for Dennis Schroeder and added center Nerlens Noel in the offseason.
Grant said the team has high expectations heading into 2018-19.
“I definitely feel like we’re contenders,” Grant said. “We have amazing talent on our team, honestly, we’re right up there with the other top teams in the West.”
The Thunder finished last season with a 48-34 record and earned the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoffs, where they was eliminated by the Jazz in the first round.