One of the main storylines of this upcoming season isn’t just the saga of this new Warriors lineup, but specifically their showdowns with the Thunder.
Kevin Durant left the Thunder after nine seasons with the franchise, and created a huge backlash with his decision.
Fans of the Thunder are really upset, and their sentiment has been shared by Durant’s ex-teammate Russell Westbrook.
Durant stated earlier this offseason that he figured his relationship with Westbrook would never be the same again, and there was certainly some ruffled feathers.
It’s a free agent’s right to sign with another team, but Westbrook was hurt that Durant wasn’t more open during the process.
Westbrook said that he found out that Durant was signing with the Warriors via social media, and undoubtedly thought that as a teammate for 8 seasons he deserved more than that.
Since then, Westbrook has been subtly encouraging a dichotomous dynamic between him and Durant: KD is a coward for leaving the Thunder for a team already absurdly talented, while Westbrook is loyal to fans of the Thunder and a “real” competitor.
Instead of hitting free agency next season, he decided to sign an extension with the Thunder just a month after Durant left. During the press conference announcing the deal, he emphasised his loyalty to the organization.
He also released an Air Jordan commercial with himself taking off for a dunk and soaring through the air, with a voice over narrating “Some run, some make runways.”
People have speculated that this is directed at Durant, and it’s admittedly a strange choice of words given the context of this offseason.
Despite the shots from Westbrook, Durant is now saying that the two of them are on good terms, and that he’s looking forward to competing against him this season.
If they have had time to discuss things one-on-one, it’s encouraging that they’ve made progress. Spending 8 seasons together is a big deal, and they’re always going to be linked as players.
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