The level of tension between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook often was overstated — they got along well. They weren’t Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble close, and the two alpha’s had some tension on the court at points, but their relationship was better than plenty of other star duos in the league.
Notice I said “was.”
In an honest interview with SINA in China (Durant is on a Nike-fueled tour through Asia) Durant said he and Westbrook’s relationship is now forever altered. Via Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group:
“I just told him, I let him know how I felt. And you obviously, our relationship probably won’t ever be the same again, but it’s something I wanted to do and I expressed that to him. Hopefully, he respected it.”
There will always be a bond between the two on one level — they were the stars that brought basketball to Oklahoma City, won over fans, and racked up a lot of victories.
But it’s honest of Durant to say things are going to change. Just like the people you get along with at your job, once you move to a new gig that relationship is altered. Adding to it in this case, Durant and Westbrook are going to face off on the court against each other a few times a year. Durant knew that was part of his decision.
Durant also said he’s adjusting to the increased attention he got with the move. And he’s not worried about his critics, or those who say the Warriors will struggle with all those stars and one basketball.
“We don’t have any selfish players on the team..I think everybody’s expecting us to play selfish.”