Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant spent eight seasons together as teammates, but met for the first time as opponents on Thursday at Oracle Arena. In the 1st Oklahoma Thunder vs Golden State Warriors game, KD and his new partners got the win. Westbrook’s visit brought out best in Durant.
With heavy anticipation centering around how Westbrook and Durant would greet each other prior to tipoff, the two didn’t even look at each other.
Westbrook took his traditional spot underneath the opposing basket, and spoke to no Warriors players.
Durant didn’t shake hands or talk with any of his former teammates.
Westbrook arrived at the game wearing an orange vest that said “Official Photographer.” One of Durant’s primary off-court hobbies is photography.
Asked about the connection pregame, Westbrook said, “Just cause I wanted to. There’s no particular reason, there’s no story behind it. It’s just because I wanted to wear it.
“I don’t wear anything for nobody. I wear what I want to wear when I want to wear it.”
Westbrook and Durant have not spoken since Durant announced he was joining the Warriors. Durant only sent Westbrook a text message informing him of the decision. Now, Kevin Durant’s relationship with Thunder fans will never be the same.
The way Westbrook dressed for the 1st Oklahoma Thunder vs Golden State Warriors Game…
— NBA (@NBA) November 4, 2016
Westbrook is known for his forward-thinking fashion, but this is just a little bit weirder than usual. He’s wearing an “official photographer” bib. And as many are quick to note, Kevin Durant loves photography. Shade thrown?
The two men didn’t so much as look at each other in the minutes before the game–Westbrook stayed far away from the center circle for the opening tip–but they both attended the teams’ pregame chapel session and walked out one after the other.
“I felt bad for Kevin because even though he hasn’t said anything negative,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said before the game. “It’s been portrayed that he has said a lot of negative things about Oklahoma City, about Russ. It’s not true.
Kevin Durant wasn’t trying to adjust, adapt, assimilate or smooth his way into anything in the 1st Oklahoma Thunder vs Golden State Warriors Game.
Recap of the game…
Durant went off against old Oklahoma City team. At times towards the end of the first and all the way until halftime, Durant seemed to take on the entire Thunder team–took some bumps and barks from them, too, and bumped and barked right back, including a prolonged jawing match with Enes Kanter while Kanter was on the bench.
The emotional part started after Thunder forward Jerami Grant threw down a dunk in Durant’s face, yelled a bit about it, and got Durant’s attention.
Kevin Durant matched his career high with seven 3-pointers and scored 39 points, coolly knocking down long jumpers while thoroughly embarrassing Russell Westbrook and his old Oklahoma City team in Golden State’s 122-96 rout of the Thunder on Thursday night.
Westbrook was held to 20 points — yes, that’s right — after coming in as the NBA’s leading scorer averaging 37.8 points.
Stephen Curry added 21 points and seven assists while Klay Thompson emerged from his 3-point funk to make four from long range on the way to 18 points in the Warriors’ fourth straight win.