The All-Star Game will be the first time Westbrook and Kevin Durant are teammates since KD’s decision to leave the Thunder for the Warriors this summer. The two have hardly exchanged any words at all since the decision, only a brief interaction on the court during their last game, but they haven’t spoken at length yet.
The assumed bad blood and harsh feeling from Westbrook at least are probably real. So how will they act playing together in the All-Star Game?
Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who will coach the West in the game, was asked that very question today and his “answer” says it all.
I did it for American people. I asked Kerr if Russell Westbrook will play with his 4 in All-Star Game. He stared at me, smiled, walked away.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) January 27, 2017
The question is more specifically if Kerr will play Russ with his four Warriors players. That might be perceived as somewhat mean to Russ.
Kerr obviously knows what a big deal this is. There’s no way around the fact that it’s going to be somewhat awkward.
Maybe the practice time leading up to the game will provide Russ and KD a chance to smooth things over. But if not, Kerr may make a point to not play the two together. With KD starting and Russ coming off the bench, he doesn’t technically have to.
The fans surely want to see what will happen if they do play together, good or bad. There may even be a public outcry to ensure the two do actually spend some time on the floor together.
The Warriors and Thunder play once more before the All-Star Game so there is still some time left for KD and Russ to talk. It just feels unlikely, which will make All-Star Weekend that much more awkward.