The Washington Wizards and Mystics practice at the same facility in Congress Heights. Even though their seasons don’t overlap heavily, it should be no surprise that their players will interact quite often, especially since some of their key players like Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne don’t play overseas.
Speaking about Delle Donne specifically, she hasn’t played since the 2019 WNBA Finals due to a back injury. She also credits a player for helping her recovery along the way.
Without being asked about the Wizards specifically, Delle Donne mentioned that then-Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook was one of her biggest helpers along the way.
During her media availability on Monday, she mentioned that if she went to do some light shooting drills in the morning, Westbrook would often be there already, whether the Wizards were playing a game that day or not.
As we have learned early on last season, Westbrook has been well-known for showing up two hours before their practices or shootarounds in the morning even though a game wouldn’t happen until the evening. She credited Westbrook for being one of her “biggest helps” this past offseasons.
“There were days where Russ would come in, way too early, on a game day even, and he would come in and rebound for me as I’m barefoot and shooting two footers close to the rim,” she said. In addition, Westbrook was also one of the key figures who would cheer Delle Donne up when she felt down over the past several months.
Elena Delle Donne says that Russell Westbrook was a big help for her in rehab. He would rebound for her and vice versa. That's really cute, y'all.— Gabe Ibrahim (@gabe_ibrahim) August 9, 2021
Yes, Westbrook is a Laker now and his press conference was yesterday right while the Wizards were holding theirs for Aaron Holiday and Kyle Kuzma. But it is very cool to see that he made an impact on the Mystics’ franchise player during his short time in D.C.