Kevin Durant is the face of the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise, which makes Russell Westbrook probably the torso, I guess. Not too sure on the anatomy of a basketball team with regards to different roles, but if that’s a way of saying that Westbrook is almost as important to the Thunder as Durant than I feel like it’s accurate, because that is the case. This is a four-year health science degree at work, people.
Nonetheless, those two are integral to all future Thunder success, which means it’s pretty important that they be on the same page. After a season that saw observers criticizing the way the Westbrook handled his position, there’s a chance there could be drama betwixt the two Thunder leaders. But hearing Kevin Durant talk about it, that’s not the case. From Yahoo! Sports:
“I don’t want any other point guard,” Durant said. “He’s perfect for us, the type of guy he is, the type of player he is, the type of teammate he is. We’re all competitive, especially me and him. We get the best of each other in practice every day, and we want to go at each other and make each other better. We are going to have disagreements. That’s what all good players on good teams do.”
So cute. Kevin and Russell together forever, xoxoxo.
That’s not to say there haven’t been some problems, as Durant told Yahoo! that they “butt heads just like any other players because we are both competitive, we both want to go at it, we both have ideas,” which makes a whole lot of sense. Both of these guys are growing as players, and that means they’re having to learn how best to utilize their talent in a team context. Russell Westbrook could average 30 points a game if he was a team’s first option, but he has to play with the NBA’s leading scorer. That’s complicated for an experienced veteran, let alone a guy who’s played three seasons in the NBA. It’s natural that they’d clash from time to time, but they’re both also only 22 years old.
Still, Durant and Westbrook were one of the big stories of last season’s playoffs. They’re two of the best players in the league, playing for everyone’s second favorite team, so there’s bound to be tons of scrutiny. But seeing the way Durant handles this sort of thing — he also told Sports Illustrated that the Thunder were “all going to get it together and we’re all going to figure it out right on the spot” — it seems like it’s not the sort of situation that’s going to continue to be a problem. They’ll learn how the best way to play alongside each other because that’s what good, willing basketball players do.
Besides, they’ve got love, and John Lennon says that’s all you need.