Ben Cohen for the Wall Street Journal:
Nanae Yamano, a 43-year-old stay-at-home mother in the Tokyo suburbs, was bored doing laundry one morning a few years ago when she turned on her television and found herself oddly transfixed by the NBA.
It was by pure serendipity that she tuned into this 2012 playoff game between the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder. She was not an NBA fan. In fact she knew pretty much nothing about the NBA. Which is why her attention gravitated toward the one player who was unlike anyone else on the court in such an obvious way that even she could see it. Yamano was captivated by Russell Westbrook.
“I saw Westbrook play for the first time and thought: What a weird guy,” she said through a translator recently before adding in English: “Isn’t he weird? So weird!”
He was so weird that she hasn’t been able to stop thinking about him since. Westbrook and the Thunder have become Nanae Yamano’s obsession.
This is such a cool story. I don’t know how I didn’t know about her Twitter account before, but you can bet that I’m following her now.
Even better, the NBA flew her out to OKC to watch tomorrow night’s Game 2 against Utah.