Saturday, January 28th, 2012 at 3:00 pm  |  34 responses

Kevin Durant: ‘Who Cares Whether Russell Westbrook’s Better Than Me or I’m Better Than Him?’

Kevin Durant doesn’t understand why people — especially media folk — won’t stop trying to pit him against star teammate Russell Westbrook. So, he asked a reporter about it last night. (Unfortunately, Kev, that’s the name of the game.) From CSN Bay Area‘s Matt Steinmetz: “Hey my man, I’ve got a question for you,’ Durant said. ‘Why does everyone want to talk about who the best player is on our team, whether it’s me or Russell? Why does everyone worry about that?’ Naturally, I was defensive and told Durant that’s not what I was talking about on television. ‘I know,’ he said. ‘But you’re in the media so maybe you know why some writers and guys like that do it. I just don’t get it.’ ‘I’m not sure,’ I answered. ‘I mean, we’re on the same team, Russell and me, so what does it matter?’ Durant said. ‘Who cares whether he’s better than me or I’m better than him?’ ‘Well, you know, the media does that kind of stuff every once in a while,’ I said, unabashedly throwing my media brethren under the bus. ‘You know, it happens here some with Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry.’ Durant nodded. ‘Thanks,’ Durant said. ‘It’s just that we’re on the same team, you now? So it doesn’t matter. Who cares?’ ‘You’re probably right,’ I said. ‘I guess it doesn’t really matter.’ With that, Durant thanked me one more time and while walking away said … ‘I just have a lot of questions, that’s all.’”

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  • https://twitter.com/#!/MisterBucketz Mitya

    wow, KD getting really nervous about this

  • http://slamonline.com. datkid

    he’s just annoyed… that’s all everyone CONSTANTLY talks about.

  • shutup

    He’s showing his maturity, and his loyalty to his team and teammates, the media always try to create a wedge between players, without the drama stories wouldnt be as interesting. I have a lot of respect for Durant, his love of the game is what its all about.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    He has every right to complain… does it really matter??

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    The media creates drama out of nothing? Noooooo, that never happens. Why would such a thing occur?

  • niletruth

    I have never heard of that question being posed to any of the Philadelphia starting pitchers, or any National Hockey League players. I cannot ever recall reporters ever asking Larry Bird if he thought he was better than Kevin McHale. Reporters haven’t even asked Tom Brady if he thinks he is a better quarterback than Eli Manning, and they are competitors. KD and Westbrook are a part of a young, talented and cohesive NBA team, who are popular and successful. Why ask such a divisive question. Kudos to Durant for refusing to feed into your polarizing question. Shame on slam mag. Has ownership changed over there? Are you becoming Tea Party?

  • Bojangles

    To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this question come up anywhere. Then again I’m very far from OKC. But I guess OKC media isn’t satisfied with a winning club and has to create drama on an absolutely bogus subject.

  • Bojangles

    It makes sense in the Steph vs. Ellis conversation due to their similar positions, but your ass would be kicked off the barbers chair for even mentioning Westbrook in the same light as Durant

  • arty

    What idiot thinks westbrook is better than kd?

  • capostat

    I dont understand KD’s bewilderment. Since when did the fact that 2 players were teammates ever prevent people from comparing them. Who’s better: Wade or Lebron? Who’s better: Kobe or Shaq? Who’s better: Vince or TMac? Unless I’m not getting KD’s real question, comparing athlete skills is something everyone enjoys doing, whether it’s a current top 10 list or and all-time list–regardless if you’re teammates.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    OKC isn’t a contender without Russ or KD.

  • http://chas44.com Chasity Melvin

    Yeah who cares I mean a better question is which one would be Batman and which one would be Robin. Check out my blog Kevin needs Robin like Batman needed Robin.

  • http://shinefluid@aol.com yada

    “we on the same team” – now thats greatness

  • BBib

    1) Mitya, KD’s nervous? Really? He just tired of stupidity. 2)Niletruth and Bojangles apparently haven’t been paying attention to sports and 3) Bojangles, it was in Oakland, not OKC, not a Slam exclusive, they copied it from the daily rag. The local meida is very aware KD is a better all around player and 4)If you knew Kevin, you’d know he wasn’t complaining. He’s just smarter than your average athlete and has the character, humility, and integrity that is, so far, unmatched in that league. I love that he wanted to turn it back on them. The media, in general, loves to do the comparisons (see Kobe to MJ) apparently because they know someone will always disagree and it keeps the talk shows alive.

  • http://ZOGS.COM ZOGS

    A reporter has to ask Westbrook straight up “IS THIS KEVINS TEAM”?
    He will SHlT himself.

  • Bojangles

    BBib: I get that it was in Oakland, but I don’t think KD was singling out the Oakland media so I assumed this must be going on in OKC as well. As for the paying attention to sports, I just don’t like the Thunder so maybe I have a selective attention. I just posted here because even the fact that this is being discussed anywhere is an absolute joke. These writers really aren’t working very hard these days. So I’m glad that Slam has shared the media’s idiocy with us once again. And good on Durant for calling those bums out!

  • ado

    well it kinda does matter.. i mean think about it this way, if you’re the leader of this team, you wanna be the best player on that team. and if you wanna be the best player in the league or just be the best at your position, you just have to prove it. MJ proved it every practice. i think that should everybody’s mentality going in. be the best and push each other to be the best. a one-on-one game would be the only gauge. and then when it’s game time, lead by example.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    Smart people see right through this they know that Kevin is trying a little too hard to be the ultimate class act and good teamate, the leauge is so fake …. Kevin is not stupid he knows the media brings this stuff up and he knows why and he has seen it happened, why play stupid? He know’s hes way better than Russ so why even bring the question back up? Hes a good guy and all but LeBron messed up so much, so he became the hero who did everything right… he loves it and he is overdoing it… I miss the old days… ever since 07 the leagues been all buddy buddy.

  • Dan

    Kevin Durant: ‘Who Cares Whether Russell Westbrook’s Better Than Me or I’m Better Than Him?’ — Ah, Russell does, that’s why this is an issue.

  • http://www.mvp247.com Greg Tanner

    In what universe is Westbrook as good as or better than KD? Seriously? And Durant needs to not sweat it – arguing over who’s better is what the media and fans all do!

  • niletruth

    BBib—-You missed my point. I do realize that player comparisons are made constantly by both the media and fans. I also enjoy a good, “who’s better” debate. However, if you read my post a little more carefully, you’d notice that my criticism relates to the media asking an athlete whether he or she thinks they are better than a TEAMMATE. KD and Westbrook are teammates and I believe, the the sole purpose of the media asking the question was to create disention between the two athletes. Furthermore, KD and Westbrook play two different positions which require different sets of skills. Asking either of them that question is like asking a fireman whether or not he thinks he is more important to the Engine Company than a fellow fireman or asking a police officer whether or not he is a better policeman than his partner. BBib—-If you can direct me to a site where a journalist asked Larry Bird if he thought he was better than Kevin McHale or if Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay thought he was better than Cliff Lee, I’d be happy to read it. Sports Journalists do a disservice by attempting to create friction among teammates, and it appears to me that these journalists single out NBA teammates to ask these divisive questions. These types of questions are not asked of NHL or MLB teammates.

  • bobbyD

    Doesn’t really matter as long their both playing well and winning. However they both should be striving to be the best in order to elevate their game.

  • niletruth

    Pardeep—I do not know if you have ever been a part of a sports team. If you have, and a reporter asked you whether or not you thought you were better than a fellow starter, would you say yes, even if you felt you were, and risk creating hard feelings with a fellow teammate? I believe KD did the right thing by responding in a way which will avoid potential deviciveness. I thought KD displayed good leadership and respect. As for your comment that “KD is trying too hard to be a class act.” I believe most readers do not have a problem with an athlete having class. I’ve seen Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Dirk Nowitzki, Steve Nash, Justin Verlander, Tim Lincecum, Tim Tebow, Dustin Persia, Pau Gasol, Kevin Love, Tyler Hansbrough, Darco Milicic, Andrew Bout, Peyton Manning and Tony Romo display “class” in relatively the same manner, yet their sincerity was not questioned. Kevin Durant IS a class act and extremely competitive and I hope he does not change to satisfy your need to see anger and violence. If that is what you want, watch the NHL. You also single out the NBA as being so fake. Baseball and Hockey players display respect for each other all the time, yet you do not call those leagues fake.

  • Mike from Spain

    cosign shutup.

  • el_larsen

    well russell cares .and that s the problem

  • Ends

    Im with KD. They (the Media) did the same thing to a young up and coming Magic Squad trying to say Penny and Shaq, who’s better. A young Shaq’s eeeego never recovered and he bolted town to show who was more important.

    dont let em divide and conquer, KD

  • Chuck

    How do you think Bird would have responded if asked about McHale and him, or Russeell and Havlicek? Also, they have a great third man, not far behind. With Ibaka constantly improving, the are a clear handful. Now if RW and KD reduce those tos. Imagine just two less a game each translates into 4 points a game. Given that KD is the veteran at 23, what are the chances they get better and better?

  • shutup

    Yeah I gotta problem with the “trying to be a class act” comment, KD is a class act, but dont let that fool you he’s a killer on the court, dude would cross your grandma over to dunk on your mom, while giving your sister 50.

  • ab40

    they just want some shit to pop off in okc but all they do is win with probably the most balanced team in the L right now. If they had Maynor healthy as well this would be even more fun.

  • Bash

    What!! I thought this was the Beard’s team….

  • Mike From Spain

    Dan comment at 4:20 am FTW

  • Wendy

    Who cares about it? Russel Westbrook cares.

  • Wendy

    It seems I’m not the first one with my above concern, which means it has some merrit to it, lol.

    Trade Westbrook for Rubio straight up, and you’ve got your monster team.

  • Ldub

    Media talks because in the mind of the NBA, obviously your best player should have the ball majority of the time, especially in crunch time. However RW has the ball, even tho the organization as well as the fans have placed KD the face. (which i also agree with). But KD and RW are friends, they are teammates and even though people will always feel KD should have the ball more, he isnt the pg. And he relys on RW to get him the rock. You wont hear/see KD throwing RW under the bus because he has complete trust in this dude to come thru when the team needs him the most. Look at the 2 memphis games..some games u will have it, some you wont…but RW turned that second game around and came out blazin. Even with the semi argument (so everyone says) on the bench, KD still acknowledges that RW is his co-captain. (whether he really is the co-captain, i have no clue)