Russell Westbrook took a subtle shot at Kevin Durant on the Fourth of July

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:

HAPPY 4th YALL....🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

A photo posted by Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) on

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.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in their last season together
These two probably won't be eating cupcakes together anytime soon. USATSI

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.

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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