Russell Westbrook: No Rift With Kevin Durant

by July 22, 2011

Russell Westbrook tells Yahoo! Sports that there’s no beef between himself and Kevin Durant (despite fans and media happily promoting the perception that there is), and says there’s nothing but positivity in the OKC Thunder locker room: “Russell Westbrook shot too much and didn’t pass enough during the Oklahoma City Thunder’s playoff run. At least, that’s what his critics said. Westbrook didn’t exactly agree with them. Westbrook also argued with his coach, Scott Brooks, and his star teammate, Kevin Durant, on the court, leading to speculation that he was feuding with both. And when the Thunder were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks, Westbrook shouldered most of the blame. In the two months since, Westbrook hasn’t lost much sleep worrying about the criticism. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have kept in touch regularly during the offseason. ‘I refuse to let myself do that,’ Westbrook [said]. ‘I’ve been working too hard to get to the position we were in last season to worry about anything somebody else was saying.’ … Westbrook averaged 26.7 points the last three games of the West finals while Durant averaged 25.3 as the Thunder lost each game and were eliminated. Westbrook said his shooting was never an issue with the Thunder. ‘My family and teammates had my back,; said Westbrook, who averaged 23.8 points, 6.4 assists and 4.6 turnovers during the playoffs. “That’s all that mattered. I didn’t [discuss it] unless I was asked about it [by the media]. Other than that, we never really discussed it. We were winning. As a team we were getting better each round. That’s all I was worrying about. Westbrook and Durant have both denied there’s a rift between them, and Westbrook said he and Durant have been in communication regularly since the season ended. The team was more concerned about Westbrook’s turnovers than his shooting.”