Blog Entry

Durant asks reporter questions about Westbrook

Posted on: January 28, 2012 11:30 am
Edited on: January 28, 2012 1:06 pm
Durant wants everyone to know he's cool with his buddy Russell Westbrook. (Getty Images)
Posted by Royce Young

Typically, it's the reporter asking the player the questions. That script got flipped Saturday night before the Thunder took on the Warriors at Oracle Arena.

Kevin Durant decided to go on the offensive about the whole supposed Russell Westbrook rift. Matt Steinmetz CSN Bay Area tells an interesting story about an encounter he had with Durant:

I had just finished doing a television segment from the floor of Oracle Arena a little after 5 p.m., while some Thunder players shot in the background. I was a guest on Chronicle Live, and was talking about Durant, Russell Westbrook and the game itself. After I was done with the hit, I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was Durant, whom I’d never met.

“Hey my man, I’ve got a question for you,” Durant said. “Why does everyone want to talk about who the best player is on our team, whether it’s me or Russell? Why does everyone worry about that?”

Naturally, I was defensive and told Durant that’s not what I was talking about on television.

“I know,” he said. “But you’re in the media so maybe you know why some writers and guys like that do it. I just don’t get it.”

“I’m not sure,” I answered.

“I mean, we’re on the same team, Russell and me, so what does it matter?” Durant said. “Who cares whether he’s better than me or I’m better than him?”

Here's who cares: Media and fans hungry for a fun conflict story. That type of stuff is what's fun to talk about, fun to argue about and fun to read about. It sells. It's a classic teammate vs. teammate story and it's something that's easy to run with.

The question is, what made Durant want to bring this up on his own? Why did he feel the need to talk about it at all? Potentially it had something to do with ESPN's Ric Bucher declaring Westbrook better than Durant in a rankings a couple weeks ago. Who knows.

Some kind of see the over-defensive behavior from Durant and Westbrook as a sign they're trying to hide something. But what I see, as a person that's pretty close to the team, is a group of guys frustrated with the negative attention.

It doesn't surprise me at all Durant did that, because he's completely annoyed. Nobody wants quiet synergy and togetherness more than Durant. He wants everyone happy, everyone getting along and the more the noise builds, the more chance it has to shake the walls.

There's no getting around it: Russell Westbrook is an emotional player. He's easily upset, easily excited. He's a ridiculously competitive person and Durant knows all this better than anyone. So I think Durant doing this type of thing is more to try and defend and cover for Westbrook. He wants to deflect everything.

The answer is that it doesn't matter who is better, as long as the team wins. That's the right answer. But that's not really reality. With Durant the team's alpha, Westbrook is supposed to take a back seat to Durant. He's supposed to defer. Durant is attempting to make Westbrook his equal, which is something Westbrook certainly would appreciate. They know this story won't die despite the fact both have signed extensions to play together for five more years.

Whether they like each other or not, the Thunder have a terrific duo and one that says and does all the right things. So from that perspective, Durant has a decent reason to be frustrated. He knows the real story, what's actually going on. Kevin Durant is a very real individual. What you see is what you get. There's no show. So it's not shocking that he'd let down his guard and speak directly to a reporter like that. He's being the Thunder's leader, their spokesman and most importantly, himself.

Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 11:23 am

Durant asks reporter questions about Westbrook

I love my OKC Thunder.  Having said that we have all known here in OKC that the east and west coasts wants us to be good but not great, they want us to develop tallent and then not be able to sign them because talking about OKC winning titles doesnt sell newspapers, subscriptions to NBA full court TV, or get a large veiwership for ESPN or anybody else.  We understand, we get it.  Create divisiveness inside our team and break them up to build the bigger markets,,,ok.  Well the joke is on them, our ownership has deep pockets,,,, oil and gas rule the world, and as long as they do and Oklahoma has a ton of it, Chesapeake, Devin, ONEOKE, OGE etc,,,, will be able to spend big $$$ money supporting the team specifically Chesapeake and Devin.  They will sign thier people and the rest of the league can continue to be dissapointed in the LACK of controversy in our team.  Presti will continue to do a great job and so will the coaching staff.  You cannot compare teamates at different possitions, apples to oranges, keep trying large markets, throw enough crap up against the wall and maybe someday something will stick, until then we will try and build a champion.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2012 4:45 pm

Durant asks reporter questions about Westbrook

First of all just who made Ric Bucher the ultimate authority on player talent in the NBA. ESPN has a bunch of talking heads who read from Q-cards. The Indiana Pacers have an all star. Why try to stir up trouble OH! ya its ESPN doing anything to get a story. Kevin Durant is a good player but who cares who you think is the better player! Russel Westbrook is a good player to so why try to cause a rift? the Thunder have a great pair of players. Now if some team would help get Howard away from the Magic by the way he would look good in an Oklahoma Thunder uniform.

Since: Feb 17, 2008
Posted on: January 29, 2012 1:48 pm

Durant asks reporter questions about Westbrook

I think the media wants to split them up because tecause the media only wants to cover the Heat or Lakers.  The media has absolutely no interest in parity.  They just want to see 3 or 4 big market superpowers.  On Sports Center last week, the 'analysts' took multiple shots slamming the Pacers in one segtment.  According to the 'experts', the Pacers don't deserve to have a player on the All Star Team because the Pacers are a sub .500 team, they never have a top 10 play, and the player who did won't have one again. But if the Pacers non All Star with the once in a life time top 10 play was on the Heat. . . Oh, and for those who don't know it because they only watch the Heat play and because small market teams get no media coverage, the Pacers are NOT sub .500. 

Since: Jan 29, 2012
Posted on: January 29, 2012 12:52 pm

Durant asks reporter questions about Westbrook

It's the Willie Lynch method. Durant and Westbrook compliment each other. They play two different positions. The question is who should be the number 1 option or take the most shots. Let these young guns do what they do, they seem to be doing it well.

Since: Sep 11, 2010
Posted on: January 28, 2012 6:30 pm

Durant asks reporter questions about Westbrook

I'm shocked! Not by the content of the article; but by the fact make space for an article on the best team in the NBA in between the daily updates on the Heat. Because of this, i'm expecting an extra-long essay on the greatness of Miami's Big 3 tomorrow, and how they may well be the greatest unit ever assembled in any sport in history, ever, ever, ever.
Of course, i'm also aware this heavily buttered praise is merely an old media trick: Let's build 'em up so we can tear 'em down! So when Miami inevitably fails in their search for a trophy (other than solo jobs), the snarky yuppies on ESPN and elsewhere can get their pompous on full-blown, content once again now that they've turned their jealousy into disdain.

Meanwhile, Kevin Durant, Westbrook, Perkins, Harden, Ibaka, and the boys in 'flyover country' will be happy to remain out of the social pages and tread steadily deep into the playoffs.

Since: Sep 9, 2011
Posted on: January 28, 2012 6:15 pm

Durant asks reporter questions about Westbrook

I think it has more to do with how we take a team out of Seattle and tranform them into a super power. They cannot accept that a small southern state can do such great things.

Since: Jan 22, 2012
Posted on: January 28, 2012 5:56 pm

Durant asks reporter questions about Westbrook

A you are so right, the media wants those guys to be at eachother and try to start controversy between them because there young ,black and most of all there winning games! Kevin Durant, OKC dont feed into the bullshit, keep playing ball the same way you've played every other game.

Since: Sep 9, 2011
Posted on: January 28, 2012 5:13 pm

Durant asks reporter questions about Westbrook

The answer to why he asked is that the media has been trying to create a controversy for weeks. It started after a heated discussion on the sidelines that involved several players. The media turned it around and made it about some fake feud between Westbrook and Durant. They are still trying to create a controversy. The fact is, there is no rift. It's all about the media.

Since: Feb 24, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2012 4:29 pm

Durant asks reporter questions about Westbrook

KD and Westbrook will keep the Thunder at an elite level for some time to come..same with the Bulls. Should make for some great basketball. Not dissing the Clippers or Nuggets or Spurs or Mavs...but the West belongs to the Thundah'.

Sorry Kobe. Just like your marriage, the hour glass is running out. You had a great run, but your supporting cast is not keeping up and YOU can't least not like you use to.

Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: January 28, 2012 4:01 pm

Durant asks reporter questions about Westbrook

The real basketball fans DON'T care who's better. We know they both kick some a**!!!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or