Kevin Durant calls Russell Westbrook Thunder’s best player

2 Comments

A few months ago, Kevin Durant was calling himself the world’s best player.

Now – after averaging 29.2 points on 49.5% shooting with 6.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game, mind you – he says he’s not even the Thunder’s best player.

He gives that title to Russell Westbrook.

Durant, via Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman:

We let our best player, Russell, we let him control the game.

This might just be a humble Durant complimenting a teammate he likes

But Durant deferring too much to Westbrook has been a problem over the years.

Durant is Oklahoma City’s best player, and he must recognize it for the Thunder to maximize their potential. He can’t just stand off to the side, waiting for Westbrook to pass to him. Westbrook – energetic, confident and the lead ball-handler – will get his own shots whether or not Durant tries to take over. Durant doesn’t have the same luxury. He needs to assert himself.

Players don’t always say what they mean, and if this is just Durant being nice, OK. But there’s too much evidence to brush this statement off as something that has no effect on the court.