Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder held a press conference yesterday to officially announce his contract extension that will keep him with the team through at least the end of the 2018 season. Fans couldn’t be more happier that they don’t have to stress about Westbrook possibly leaving after next season and they showed up in huge numbers yesterday to support their new, unquestioned leader. While Russ was all the talk around town, we knew there were going to be questions about Kevin Durant leaving and to his credit, Russ answered them all with no hesitation.


Westbrook started off the press conference by addressing the crowd and explaining why he wanted to be there even before the questions started. “There’s nowhere else I would rather be than Oklahoma City. You guys have basically raised me. I’ve been here since I was 18, 19 years old. You guys did nothing but great things for me. Through the good and the bad, you guys supported me through it all, and I appreciate it. Definitely when I had the opportunity to be able to be loyal to you guys, that’s the No. 1 option. Loyalty is something that I stand by.”

Perhaps most surprisingly was the fact that he revealed he found out about Durant leaving via social media.

How did you find out about Kevin leaving?

Westbrook: Like y’all found out, on the news, on the cell phones, the social media. I talked to Kevin early in the process but nothing after. Just a text message from him, that’s about it”.

That same text message he is referring to that Durant sent him after making his decision is the same one he deleted according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical .

When Russell Westbrook traveled to Oklahoma City to meet with general manager Sam Presti in the aftermath of the franchise’s lost weekend in the Hamptons, Westbrook held no interest for a post-mortem on Kevin Durant. For a front office still mired in angst and anger, Westbrook delivered a sobering splash of ice water: What’s next?

No nostalgia, no reflection and no regret: In Westbrook’s world, Durant had been deleted like his old teammate’s text message saying goodbye on the way to Golden State.

Russell said he hasn’t talked to him since and he was asked if he was surprised it went down like that, finding out via text message after their relationship for the past eight years.

Westbrook: Some people handle things differently than others. That’s the way he wanted to handle it and it’s fine.

He was also asked if he still considers Durant a friend.

Westbrook: We’ve been together eight years. You don’t throw that away. Obviously he’s with a new team now but we will definitely talk eventually. But obviously now we haven’t

Russ seems to not stress over what he can’t control and mentally has already moved on from the fact Durant is no longer there. He is only focused on in his words, “what’s next”. That attitude was probably on display best when he was asked if the fact Kevin left for the Warriors of all teams made it sting more. “Sting for who”, Russell quickly responded with a laugh.

While the Thunder won’t be title contenders next season, they will definitely put a scare into some of the top teams like the Warriors, Spurs and Clippers in the west. Russell seems ready to go on an all out assault of the NBA next year and that may be the best part of all this happening.