On July 4th, 2016, the NBA’s landscape took a huge change that could potentially leave its mark in the Association both now, and forever.
Perennial All-Star and former league MVP Kevin Durant made his decision to join a Golden State Warriors team fresh off an historic season.
On Tuesday afternoon, Kevin Durant opened up about the state of his relationship with Russell Westbrook.
“We were brothers. We are brothers," Durant told Anthony Slater of the Bay Area News Group. "Me and Russell grew up together. I was in the phase of finding out who I was outside of basketball. He already knew who he was. He already had a stable life. He had stable parents, a girlfriend through college. I didn’t have none of that stuff. I’m trying to find out who I am, which I didn’t know, which is not a bad thing. He knew who he was.
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"So obviously we’re going to grow toward this way (splits arms). It’s not a bad thing. It’s not at all. We still hung out. We’re boys. My interest went this way, his went that way. He got married, I didn’t. He hung with his wife. What you want me to do? I love Russ. I don’t care what nobody say. I don’t care what he say or what the fans say.
"Like, this is a tough time right now in our relationship. But I love Russ. I love his family. They all know that. I never did anything morally wrong. I never back-stabbed him in real life, never did anything behind his back, never told anyone anything about his character. Never did any of that. I just left teams. I just switched teams.
"Everyone on the outside is looking at it as, ‘Oh, you must not have liked him.’ Hell no. C’mon man. Nobody understand that part. I’m trying to find out who I am. He knew who he was. He knew what he wanted to do. He got married young. He met his girlfriend in college. I didn’t have none of that. I didn’t have two parents in a home with me. I’m still trying to search and find out who I am. We end up going this way (splits arms again) as far as off-the-court personality wise. And that’s not a bad thing.”
Durant and Westbrook played together in Oklahoma City for eight years. They played three season with James Harden and they lost one NBA Finals against LeBron James 4-1.
Durant acknowledged that perhaps he should have done more than just sending Westbrook a text to let him know he was moving on.
“Yeah, you know, I understand that. I understand that," Durant told BANG. "That’s something me and him will talk about. I’m not saying I’m right. I’m not saying I did it the right way. I’m owning up to that. We’re not going to go through this in the media though. I’m not going to say I should’ve did this, should’ve did that. We’ll figure our differences out as men 1-on-1.
"He’s doing his job right now and he’s doing a helluva job. And I’m doing my job. Of course we’re not going to talk every day. But like I said, I don’t care what y’all say, fans in OKC, media, whoever. We’re going through a tough time right now in our relationship. But we’re brothers at the end of the day.
"When I say that, where I come from, I mean it. You know what I’m saying? Every time I got into it with the media (during my Thunder days) or whoever, it was never over me. It was always over someone I was riding with, my teammates or my coach. So that should tell you enough.”
Westbrook, who was slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, signed an extension with the Thunder in August.
Durant and the Warriors host Westbrook and the Thunder on Thursday night.
It gonna be huge game and I really can't wait to watch them. But, still... the game of the year will be when Thunder host Warriors. That is the game of the year.
And I really can't imagine if they played against each other in the NBA Playoffs 2017.