Stephen A. Smith reports Kevin Durant’s former Thunder teammates, including Russell Westbrook, never viewed KD as a leader
While Durant was always the best player on the Thunder during his tenure in OKC, Smith is reporting Westbrook had trouble following KD as the team’s leader for a couple of reasons.
“Several people have come up to me. A couple of people who used to play in Oklahoma City. Several people that are incredibly familiar with the history of KD in Oklahoma City. They said when he was in Oklahoma City, he wasn’t viewed as the leader,” Smith said on ESPN’s First Take on Wednesday. “They said it was hard for Russell Westbrook to follow him because KD, the man that you see right now, was a boy back then. And Russell Westbrook came in a man.
“So to go to Russell Westbrook and to ask him to follow that guy, Russell Westbrook was a man lookin’ at you like you’re asking him to follow a boy. I’m quoting. I’m not tellin’ you who. But I’m quoting folks that said that and it was more than one person.”
Kevin Durant left the Thunder in the summer of 2016 to sign with the Golden State Warriors, where he won two Finals MVPs.
KD told the Wall Street Journal recently he sometimes hates the NBA and the circus that follows it. He also said he has no love for OKC anymore after Thunder fans were venomous toward him when he came back with the Warriors as a visitor.
Westbrook always played like an alpha dog when KD was in OKC, but everyone knew Durant was the superior player. It was always an interesting dynamic between Westbrook and Thunder, one which ended with OKC blowing a 3-1 series lead in the 2016 Western Conference Finals to the Warriors.