KEVIN DURANT CONGRATULATES RUSSELL WESTBROOK
KEVIN DURANT CONGRATULATES RUSSELL WESTBROOK IN THE WEIRDEST WAY
When Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were the two leaders of the Oklahoma City Thunder, they had what was then considered one of the most close-knit relationships in pro basketball. They defended each other at press conferences, wore the same ridiculous glasses and danced in unison at the All-Star game. But when Durant left the Thunder in favor of the Warriors last summer, that changed instantly.
Since the very day Durant announced his move, the two stars have been trading jabs. Last night, nearly a year since Durant’s bombshell, Westbrook won the regular season MVP crown in a televised ceremony. The burning question immediately became: Would KD congratulate him? After all, Westbrook helped Durant win an MVP of his own four years ago. That’s got to count for something, right? Apparently it does. Durant has acknowledged Westbrook’s feat, but he tucked the congratulations away so neatly, they’re fairly easy to miss.
As ESPN points out, Durant acknowledged Westbrook as part of a message to last night’s NBA Awards winners on his YouTube page using the Community feed feature. The what? The Community feed, which is basically YouTube’s version of a Twitter profile, is a running log of recent status updates. Uh, who even uses YouTube to post status updates?
“Huge congrats to Russell Westbrook on MVP, that boy went out there and was a created player on 2k all year, Fuckin balled out. Gotta respect it,” wrote Durant. In the same message he also congratulated award winners Malcolm Brogdon, Giannis Antetokounmpo andMike D’Antoni (James Harden’s coach with the Houston Rockets), plus a guy who didn’t win anything at all (James Harden). In separate posts, Eric Gordon (the guy that helped eliminate Westbrook from the playoffs) and Draymond Green (the guy that Alicia Key’d Durant and Westbrook’s marriage) each got their own separate congrats. These additions could mean nothing, I’m just laying it all out there.
To some, the congratulations is seen as an olive branch from Durant, whose only other positive exchange with Westbrook came during February’s All-Star game when the two collaborated on an ill alley-oop. But it might not be that simple. Durant has quietly been trolling Westbrook for months in the media. He admitted that he considers Kyrie Irving to be better than Iverson was—Iverson is a player Westbrook has been mercilessly compared to. He wore a hat bearing a ring-topped-cupcake after claiming the title this month (Westbrook posted pictures of cupcakes on his Instagram the day Durant left the Thunder as a way of calling his ex-teammate’s move weak).
Chances are, Durant bypassing more commonly used channels like Twitter, or recording an actual YouTube congratulations (LeBron is pretty awesome at these), or even a delivering a comment to a prominent basketball writer is probably proof that making peace with Westbrook isn’t on his list of priorities.