Kevin Durant says relationship with Thunder star Russell Westbrook ‘was never in a bad place’
When Kevin Durant made his exit from the Oklahoma City Thunder and went to the Golden State Warriors, many in the basketball community thought that there was very bad blood between Durant and his former teammate Russell Westbrook.
According to Durant, however, that was never the case.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 16, 2019
Speaking to media today ahead of the NBA’s All-Star festivities later today, Durant was asked about his relationship with Westbrook and the “bad place” that he and Westbrook’s relationship was in, to which Durant said that he never thought it was in a bad place to begin with:
“I don’t think it was ever in a bad place, I think a lot of you guys just got in the way and tried to make it something bigger than it was because you needed a story. So, I understand what that was like now thinking back on it, because I never really had a problem with nobody in this league to the point where I didn’t like anyone or hated someone. It wasn’t even that deep, I think a lot of you guys just got in the way because it was the cool thing to do.”
He was then asked if he thought that the perception of Russell being hard to play with was unfair.
Not only did Durant acknowledge that he also said that the perception likely came about when he left the Thunder.
“Well, I just thought that criticism was always unfair. I think that Russell is a player that requires so much attention out there on the basketball court, that any player would want to play with that. He brings intensity and a passion that is very rare in our sport.”
“But with me leaving, it was such a big deal to so many people who follow the game, they brought up this narrative that nobody likes him and nobody wants to be around him because of me.” he said. “And that was always unfair to me, and I always thought that was pretty ignorant.”
Unlike the past two years, Durant and Westbrook will be going against each other when the All-Star Game kicks off tomorrow night, as Westbrook was traded by LeBron James to acquire Ben Simmons from Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Make sure to watch for the two of them when the game begins at 8 pm EST.