Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant met when they were just teenagers ahead of the 2008 NBA Draft. Tomorrow (Nov. 3), they face off wearing different color jerseys for the first time in their careers. The undefeated Oklahoma City Thunder visit the Golden State Warriors at 10:30 p.m. EST on TNT. The cameras will focus on the dynamic of how KD and Westbrook will embrace during their first meeting since his heavily criticized departure.
Thursday. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant meet again…. as opponents. pic.twitter.com/q05CIaHaUf
— Shane Steinkraus™ (@ShaneTrain23) November 1, 2016
The 28-year-old opened up to the San Jose Mercury News about the fractured relationship between the former Thunder buddies. KD wanted to clear the air, as he talked about how Westbrook will always be his “brother.” Durant also owned up to not departing from OKC in the best way.
“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. “
When asked if Westbrook would still be a lifelong friend down the road, Durant claimed:
“This basketball (bleep) is fake, man. It’s not real life. I love it. I go to work every day. I work hard every day. But when you’re talking about off the court stuff, that (bleep) is not real. What would I look like being mad at somebody for 20 years? Or having a feud with anyone for 20 years? Hell yeah, if I’m getting married, he’s getting an invite. If I go to the Hall of Fame, he’s getting an invite. Even if he don’t accept it. Basketball beef, I’m not on that. Where I come from, we don’t play around with that. So I’m not into that basketball beef. When we’re on the court, of course we’re going to compete. He’s going to come at us, I’m going to come at them. Their whole team going to come at us and vice versa. But nothing more. And I don’t expect nothing less. But outside the court, all this other stuff, c’mon man. What we talking about? Don’t come to me trying to have us feuding, or any NBA player for that matter. Between the lines, I’m going to do me and they’re going to do them. Off the court, I don’t have that much energy to be wasting beefing with anybody. If you don’t like me, you got an opinion on what I did, I respect you. I got love for you. Because I know the grind, I know how hard it is to get here.”
The entire basketball world will be tuned in Thursday night to see Westbrook and Durant take the floor together in different jerseys for the first time. It should be a fun, high-paced basketball match-up either way, as KD and Russ will be going at each other’s throats all game long.
KD vs. Westbrook Round One: the basketball beef everyone wants, but won’t get. Read the rest of the interview here.