Russell Westbrook on how Thunder fans should treat Kevin Durant: 'Up to them'

With Kevin Durant returning to Chesapeake Energy Arena on Saturday, Russell Westbrook is not going to tell Oklahoma City Thunder fans how to react. After recording his 26th triple-double of the season in the Thunder's 118-109 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, Westbrook was asked whether he cares what the crowd will do.

"It's kind of up to them," Westbrook said, via ESPN's Royce Young. "It's up to them what they want to do. Obviously, Kevin has done a lot for Oklahoma City and our team while he was here, so it's kind of up to them. It doesn't really matter to me one way or the other. It's a basketball game and we have to go out and compete."

Three quick thoughts:

  • I think "Kevin has done a lot for Oklahoma City and our team while he was here" qualifies as the most positive comment Westbrook has made about his former co-star since Durant signed with the Warriors. Is this an olive branch? Probably not, but hey, baby steps!
  • Westbrook is beloved in OKC, but I don't think it would have made much of a difference if he had said he didn't want fans to boo Durant. There's a lot of hostility toward him there, and I'll bet they would have booed anyway.
  • Imagine for a second that Westbrook had encouraged fans to boo. That would have been hilarious, and it would have riled up Thunder fans that honestly don't need to be riled up. It would also, however, have been totally out of character. Westbrook has tried his best to deflect questions about Durant's departure for months; it would be weird if all of a sudden he added fuel to the fire.
CBS Sports Writer

James Herbert is somewhat fond of basketball, feature writing and understatements. A former season-ticket holder for the expansion Toronto Raptors, Herbert does not think the NBA was better back in the... Full Bio

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