Elena Delle Donne is on her way back, and not without the help of one of basketball’s biggest stars.
Delle Donne, who has had two back surgeries in the past year, revealed Monday during her media availability that NBA superstar Russell Westbrook has been one of the “biggest helps” throughout her recovery.
“He would come in and rebound for me as I’m barefoot and shooting, you know, 2-footers close to the rim,” Delle Donne said. “Days I just didn’t want to have it or … just wanted to be in my feelings, there were moments like that where he would show up and bring me out of a funk.”
She said that the nine-time All-Star would show up for practice “way too early on a game day even” to rebound for her while she put up shots.
Elena Delle Donne says Russell Westbrook was “one of her biggest helps” during her rehab from injury: “Russ would come in, way too early on a game day even, and he would come in and rebound for me”Real one 🙏 pic.twitter.com/drDX97QAcA— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) August 9, 2021
Elena Delle Donne says Russell Westbrook was “one of her biggest helps” during her rehab from injury: “Russ would come in, way too early on a game day even, and he would come in and rebound for me”Real one 🙏 pic.twitter.com/drDX97QAcA
“[I’d] be like ‘I got this. I can keep doing this,'” the two-time WNBA MVP added. “He believes in me, these people believe in me, my teammates believe in me, I can do this. So there were some days, yeah, I wasn’t believing in myself, but others were helping me through it.”
Mystics coach Mike Thibault said Monday that Delle Donne has been showing “flashes” of her MVP self during practice. Still, both admit that the timetable for her return remains day-to-day.
“I think we’re gonna be in a situation where it’s gonna be a re-evaluation every couple of days,” Thibault said, “and I’m not going to jeopardize her long-term future just to make sure she gets in a game.”