Kevin Durant: Russell Westbrook had his guys, I had mine
Golden State Warriors small forward Kevin Durant shed some light on the relationship between him and Russell Westbrook and the dynamic that ultimately caused him to leave Oklahoma City for the Bay Area.
In a candid interview with Rolling Stone’s Paul Solotaroff, Durant explained what attracted him to this Warriors team in the first place.
“They just liked each other so much and were so relaxed,” he said. “I thought, ‘These are some chill-ass dudes I wouldn’t mind hooping with.’ I wasn’t even asking, ‘How do we play together?’ I was asking, ‘Where do y’all go eat, do y’all hang out together?'”
For someone that had grown up friendless through most of his basketball journey prior to becoming a pro, the thought of being part of a band of brothers intrigued him.
As much as Durant and Westbrook seemed to thrive in each other’s success, it was only a working relationship that was merely functional, but never really a bond beyond the lines of the court.
“We had our own cliques that we hung with on the road,” said Durant. “Russell had his guys, I had mine. It was never a bad thing. Just how it was.”
Once the four-time scoring champion had his mind set on Golden State, he went on to make the hardest phone call of his life.
“It was rough, talking to [Thunder GM] Sam Presti and [owner] Clay Bennett,” he said. “I cried and got emotional, I’ll put it like that.”
He then texted Westbrook to inform him about his decision, since they hadn’t really talked at all through the process. There was only silence, the silence that at times is deemed necessary to fill an inexplicable void.
It was the end of an era, one in which they endured the cruelest of seasons as a new franchise on the rise to the most heartbreaking losses as they did last season in the Western Conference finals.