July 25, 2016, 6:52 am
When Kevin Durant announced that he’d be joining the Golden State Warriors, many took that as a sign of Russell Westbrook’s leanings heading into his own free agent year. As it turns out, that never even came up.
In a sitdown with USA Today’s Sam Amick, Durant opened up about his decision making process.
Durant downplays the possibility of chemistry issues persuading him to seek greener pastures. While that’s a fine sentiment to share after the fact, it’s far from an unexpected answer. It’s not like he’s going to put Westbrook on blast immediately after he bolted Oklahoma City. Westbrook’s tendency to end possessions, either with a shot attempt or an assist, has long been rumored to draw Durant’s ire however minor it may have been. He’ll be in a whole new world with the Warriors’ effortless passing and movement.
Interestingly enough, Durant also said that Westbrook’s free agency was never discussed. He dined with Westbrook and Nick Collison during the recruiting process but it was something the group didn’t touch on. So what did they talk about?
“I mean we didn’t really talk about anything at all. I wish him nothing but the best, man.”
Interesting. Talking about nothing at all hardly seems like a viable recruiting tactic, but you really can’t blame Durant for keeping some stuff under wraps. They allegedly have yet to have a lengthy conversation since the free agency fallout; it might take some time but it doesn’t seem like there’s bad blood between the two superstars.
As usual, take everything said with a grain of salt. Durant, defensibly, doesn’t deviate too far from the standard statements. He does open up about his own emotions in the wake of his big move, expressing some empathy for those in OKC who felt particularly jilted by his departure. It’s an interesting talk with the NBA’s newest villain.