All eyes are on Thursday night’s Oklahoma City Thunder-Golden State Warriors matchup as it will be the first time Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant will square off since KD made his OKC exodus. In the lead up to the game, Durant sat down with both USA Today’s Sam Amick and the San Jose Mercury News‘ Anthony Slater to talk about his relationship with Westbrook and how things have played out since he went West.
In his interview with Slater, Durant said he “loves” Westbrook and never “back-stabbed him in real life:”
“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.”
KD also admitted that he may not have gone the best route when informing Westbrook that he was leaving the Thunder:
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…. 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?
During KD’s tenure in OKC, there were constant rumors that he and Westbrook may not have been getting along and the two had trouble sharing the spotlight. Durant more or less called those rumors BS:
All that stuff I hear is lies. All that stuff that I’m taking shots at the Thunder or Russell. It’s just there to try to separate us. They did it when we were playing together. They tried to separate us. So obviously they’re going to do it even more now. C’mon. I don’t have nothing against Russell. As I shouldn’t. And I don’t think he have nothing against me. I don’t think he’s taking shots at me. I don’t think he’s doing anything that everyone is putting out there. It’s for your entertainment, your pleasure, your joy. I see it all the time. They want us to beef because of the game on Thursday.
While speaking with Amick, the new Warrior said that he expects Thursday night to be emotional for him:
Hell yeah it will be. Yeah, it’s going to be emotional, seeing people on the sideline that I haven’t seen in a while. Yeah, it’s definitely going to be emotional, but I’ve got a job to do. I’ve got to go out there and be me in between the lines. I’d be a fraud if I go out there and say, ‘No, it’s not going to mean nothing. It’s just another game.’ It’s not. It’s not another game.