As the Oklahoma City Thunder rose to prominence in the Western Conference, questions about the dynamic between Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant popped up constantly. Having two superstar players who need a team revolving around them is hard to manage, and it didn’t always work out. People questioned their compatibility as they often seemed reluctant to give up a shot when the other had a better shot open.
Those questions have hit an all time high since KD left the team for the Warriors this summer. Westbrook has become fed up with the questions and refuses to answer them, and KD seems to feel the same way. Via the Washington Post:
When you start to figure out what you do and who you are outside of basketball, at an early age, Russell figured that out. I didn’t,” Durant told Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post before Tuesday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers. “We’re not going to hang out every day like we did when we were 19, 20 years old. That’s just unrealistic. That’s just life. You don’t hang out with your 19-year-old buddies no more every day, if you’re growing up and doing your own thing. Our personalities, my interests, went another way, and his went another way, and I respected that.”
He seemed annoyed and frustrated when the same reporters asked him about Russell Westbrook’s new commercial, which features him dancing to “Now I Do What I Want.”
It’s a commercial,” said Durant. “What are you thinking too far into it for? What are we talking about? That’s what I’m so baffled about. I understand if you’ve got your opinions on me, or what I did. That’s cool. But what are we talking about, at the end of the day? Like, are me and Russell going to go to the middle of the court and fight? You want to see that, right? That’s what the fans want to see. What are we talking about? We play basketball.”
Still, Durant says that the respect between them still exists, and that him leaving doesn’t undo 8 years of playing and practicing together.
“You know, there’s always that respect you have for somebody,” Durant said. “I love [Westbrook’s] family. I mean, me and his brother [Ray] hung out more than me and Russell because Russell had a wife. Russell was at home. I was a single man, a bachelor in [Oklahoma City], obviously we’re not going to be together every day.”
“Russell had what he wanted to do on the road. He liked to go to the casino. I don’t. You know what I’m saying? I didn’t like to go to the casino. That’s just what he does. And just because we decided to do different things on the road and not hang out as much as we did when we were 19, that’s not a bad thing. That’s not like I lost respect for Russ because we didn’t hang out every day, or I lost touch with Russ because we didn’t hang out every day.”