Tha Sports Junkies 101

Westbrook Brushes Off Durant’s Departure, Inks 3 Year Extension

Keith Allison/ via Flickr



Russell Westbrook has always been his own man. From his wild fashion choices off the court, to the way he plays with reckless abandon on the court, Westbrook is one of a kind.

It should be no surprise that he came off as aloof in regards to Durant leaving OKC during a press conference Thursday. A press conference announcing Westbrook’s 3 year, $85.6 million extension.

Westbrook spoke of loyalty and how it was important to him. How he has grown from a teenager to a man during his time donning a Thunder jersey. How he found out about Durant leaving and his initial reaction to GM Sam Presti was, “What’s next? What’s next for our team?”

According to Westbrook, he spoke to Durant one time in the early stages of Free Agency at the beginning of July. He says that following that one conversation he has texted with Durant one time since Durant decided to go ring chasing in Oakland.

That is baffling.

Eight years in the trenches, night in and night out in the NBA, and all Westbrook gets is one phone call, followed by a text.

It’s almost as if Durant knew he was doing something wrong. His actions were not those of a man confident he did the right thing.

Durant chiding Westbrook and OKC the way he did is the equivalent of a man texting his wife that he wants a divorce. He wants the divorce, and he has found a younger, prettier life partner that everyone in town knows.

This is a shady move. A shady move that you hope one day the perpetrator has to pay for.

The kerfuffle that is swirling around Durant, Westbrook, and OKC is the perfect thing for Russell.

Russell will enter the 2016-17 season with an almost psychotic motivation to push the Thunder to the playoffs. OKC still has a great supporting cast, and with a rejuvenated Westbrook, I could see them finishing top 3 or 4 in the West.

Westbrook is coming off a season in which he averaged nearly 24 points, 11 assists, and 8 boards a game. We can all be assured that his point total will rise a good 6 to 8 points a game next season.

Westbrook is the most athletic player in the league, perhaps the most athletic player of all time. He is constantly in attack mode, never taking a play off, or taking his foot off the proverbial gas. He will go all out every play, every game next season in efforts to show the NBA world that HE is indelibly the man in Oklahoma City.

I will acknowledge that for a good part of their time together Durant was the better player than Westbrook. But at some point, I would say it happened during the 2014-15 season, Russell passed KD. To me, this was never better displayed than during the 2016 playoffs. Westbrook became the man in OKC, torching the Spurs and Warriors to the tune of 26 points, 11 assists, 7 boards and nearly 3 steals a game.

I know this is not popular opinion, but for my money, Westbrook is the best point guard in the NBA. The only player I take ahead of Russell is that guy in Cleveland, who I’m not even sure is human.

People may think that I’m crazy, and I’m fine with that. Westbrook, himself, has his detractors. You hear it all the time when NBA heads break down Westbrook’s game: “He shoots too much,” or “He plays out of control,” “He takes too many bad shots.” You name it. We have all heard it.

Here’s the thing though when it comes to Russell, he does NOT care. He doesn’t care what his critics think. He will hit the court next season with the revamped Thunder roster ready to proove a point.

Whatever anyone may think or say about Russell, nobody can question his heart. His motor. His freakish athletic ability. His lockdown defense.

The cascading chain of events this offseason is the harmonic convergence needed to push Westbrook to the head of the NBA MVP table. The two Finals favorites have plenty of help across the board. Barring a record breaking season by someone in Oakland or Northeast Ohio, Westbrook has to be the odds on favorite to win MVP.

Given Westbrook’s temperament and personality, the circumstances of the upcoming season are exactly what Russell needs to dominate.

It would be the perfect Westbrook response to Durant’s one phone call.