image via: twitter
The eyes of the basketball world will be focused on Oklahoma City tonight as Kevin Durant makes his long waited return to the city he put on the map, this time in the role of the villain. There will be boos, cheers, maybe even some tears from the fans in attendance but the main thing on everyone’s mind is still the relationship, or lack there of, between Durant and Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook for his part, has done all he can to not speak on Durant or acknowledge the situation as he has kept his head down and focused on carrying his Thunder team. It’s obvious there are still hurt feelings, which is to be expected after watching a brother leave and prosper elsewhere, especially the way he left and the destination he chose. Durant’s decision instantly changed the trajectory of the Thunder franchise as they went from perennial contenders to a team that will constantly struggle to make deep playoff runs, despite the greatness of Westbrook.
While speaking with reporters today during the Thunder pre-game practice, Russell spoke a little more in depth about the situation overall. When I say “a little more” that’s exactly what I mean.
As in-depth as Russell Westbrook has gone about his relationship with Kevin Durant pic.twitter.com/7tehmfumwJ
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 11, 2017
Lisa Salters of ESPN asked “Russ, you guys describe each other as brothers and now you don’t speak, what is that like for you personally?” He responded with “I mean sometimes it happens like that. Nothing I can say about it. Sometimes that’s how things go.”
She followed that up with asking “Does it hurt?”. “Hurt?”, Russell Responded. “I mean…I’m fine, I’m fine. Move forward, things happen in life man, as a man you gotta move forward. I got a great group of guys here that I love like my brothers and there have been many a teammates that I had here before that left me and are my brothers that I still talk to, that I don’t talk to, not just Kevin.”
The fact he somewhat paused when he was asked if it hurts is likely a sign that it does hurt, although we all know Russ is too much of an alpha male to admit it.
The final question when he was asked if he ever thinks him and Kevin can rekindle that moment of being brothers led to a more telling answer. “I’m not sure”, Russell said. “It’s not really up to me honestly.” That at least sounds like if Durant reaches out to him that he would listen. There are many fans around the NBA that would love to see these guys still be close, despite being opponents now.
As Anthony Slater tweeted in the video, this is the more Russell has discussed the relationship with Durant and we probably shouldn’t expect much more, at least for now.