Russell Westbrook took a subtle shot at Kevin Durant on the Fourth of July
It was so subtle that nobody noticed it
When Kevin Durant decided to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder and sign with the Golden State Warriors on the Fourth of July, Russell Westbrook didn't say anything about it. His only public comment that day: Wishing his fans a happy Independence Day on Instagram:
The post seemed innocuous enough, but it was notable that Westbrook appeared unbothered. While the rest of the basketball world was freaking out about one of the biggest moves in the history of free agency, Westbrook was just eating some cupcakes.
To those within the Thunder's circle, though, the Instagram photo had more meaning than that. Here's Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins explaining Westbrook's subtle shot at Durant:
Westbrook and Durant were not best buds, but they were peerless partners, a souped-up Stockton and Malone, transporting a mini market to the big time. Westbrook's closest friends are actually former high school teammates, long-standing wing men like Donnell Beverly and Demetrius (Juice) Deason, who flank him in summer pickup games and play dominoes with him on the Fourth. "He didn't talk much about what happened," says Beverly. Westbrook didn't disparage Durant. He didn't judge him. All he did was take a picture. When Kendrick Perkins played center for the Thunder, he called teammates "cupcake" if he thought they were acting a little soft. Westbrook and Durant adopted the term in jest. Westbrook posted a bittersweet pic on Instagram: three plates of cupcakes topped by red and blue stars and sprinkles.
It's perfect, isn't it? Westbrook, of course, didn't want to make any headlines that day. And he certainly didn't want to get in any sort of public feud with his former co-star. He did want to send a little message, though, and Durant would surely understand it.
It's easy, by the way, to verify this. Look at Durant and Perkins using the term on Twitter years ago. This is the best rivalry, partially because neither one of them will acknowledge that it is a rivalry at all.
You play who's in front of you, and that's what Golden State did -- and beat everyone it f...
This is the first sweep the Spurs have suffered since 2010
Pop doesn't know whether Manu Ginobili will retire, but he wanted to give him a proper salute...
San Antonio doesn't know what will happen with Manu Ginobili and Patty Mills this summer
Our experts predict every series in the 2017 NBA playoffs
Check back here for all of the conference finals results from the NBA playoffs