Kevin Durant Downplays Heated Altercation With Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook had a terrible night during the OKC Thunder’s thrilling win in Memphis. The point guard didn’t connect on any of his 13 field goal attempts, and he forced up many bad shots to boot.
Most interestingly, Westbrook got into a heated argument with Kevin Durant during a second-quarter timeout.
According to Durant, even though this isn’t the first time he’s had a yelling match with Westbrook in a public setting, the latest incident between the two Thunder stars is nothing to get too worked up over.
Reports the Oklahoman:
Westbrook’s frustration appeared to have started with just 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the second quarter when he drove into the paint and kicked the ball out to Thabo Sefolosha in the corner. Sefolosha passed up a wide open 3-pointer, which prompted Westbrook to yell at Sefolosha “shoot the (expletive) ball.” Sefolosha and other teammates, including Durant and center Kendrick Perkins attempted to calm Westbrook down immediately during an ensuing trip to the free throw line. But the emotions spilled over to the bench one minute later.
Durant appeared to again settle Westbrook, but Westbrook appeared to take exception to how Durant delivered his message. The two began shouting at each other and had to be separated. Durant patted Westbrook on the head when the two took the court out of the timeout, and the two seemed to communicate well throughout the rest of the game. “We’re going to disagree sometimes, like I’ve always been saying,” Durant said. “But I’m behind him 110 percent, and he’s the same way with me. And you seen when we came on the floor we clicked and everything started to work from there.”
Russell Westbrook left the locker room before reporters could ask him about any of this.
One factor to consider is that Russell Westbrook is (rightly) angling for a rich contract extension; it will be interesting to see what — if anything — OKC Thunder management and coaches do to address the dynamic between Kevin and Russ, as they move forward with such a critical decision on their point guard.