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Emotional video tribute, standing ovation for Russell Westbrook in return to Oklahoma City

Houston Rockets v Oklahoma City Thunder

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - JANUARY 9: Russell Westbrook #0 of the Houston Rockets looks on during his welcoming back video to Oklahoma City before the game on January 9, 2020 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

Russell Westbrook was the guy who stayed. He came with the team from Seattle, was a critical part of the run to the NBA Finals, then when Kevin Durant bolted it was Westbrook who re-signed and then went on a historic triple-double run to an MVP trophy. He only left when Paul George forced his way to the coast and it was time for a rebuild in OKC.

Westbrook returned to Oklahoma City Thursday night and was welcomed like a conquering hero.

First, there was the video tribute (which was very well done by the Thunder).

Then came the raucous standing ovation.

After that, Westbrook went through his traditional pregame routine — fist bumps for the stat crew, shooting arrows, a sprint to the corner — which even fired up the fans more.

Westbrook will always be loved in OKC, and can return someday to see his jersey retired there in the rafters.