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Russell Westbrook's temper part of what makes him great, but can it hurt Thunder?

  • Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots over Memphis Grizzlies guard Jerryd Bayless (7) in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. Oklahoma City won 106-89. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)The Associated Press

  • Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) keeps the ball from Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) and forward Serge Ibaka (9) in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. Oklahoma City won 106-89. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)The Associated Press

  • Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) shoots between Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen (9), forward Darrell Arthur (00) and center Marc Gasol (33) in the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. Oklahoma City won 106-89. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)The Associated Press

Make Russell Westbrook mad, and it's anybody's guess what will happen next.

In his rise to stardom in the NBA, Westbrook has shown off an All-Star temper to go with his unique blend of athleticism and determination.

His latest outburst came in anything but a pressure-packed situation Thursday night. He snapped at teammates and stormed off toward the locker room after a third-quarter turnover with his Oklahoma City Thunder leading by 25.

In his fifth season in the league, the Thunder have come to understand that's just part of the Westbrook package. He plays with a permanent chip on his shoulder, and it's part of what makes him a great player.

The only concern for Oklahoma City is whether his tantrums will fracture chemistry at some point and keep the team from winning an NBA championship.