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Durant & Westbrook: Cloudy Future In Loud City

December 30, 2011
By

 

Oklahoma City Thunder, welcome to the world of NBA title contenders.You’re under a microscope never before seen in your lives. Now you know how the Lakers feel every year. Every little thing gets blown up…exploited and tabloided. Minor incidents becomes front page news, rumors turn to reality before your eyes. Most recently, there was another in-game “altercation” involving Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Leave it up to the media (and “bloggissts”) to blow things up like a Fathead

I was watching the game versus the Memphis Grizzlies and had no idea the dust-up even occurred (I was going back and forth on League Pass, mind you). What I did notice was Russell shooting o-13 in the game, but yet still making two clutch free throws to secure the win…impressive. But if you only read reports after the game, you’d think the two young stars had been in a UFC brawl, throwing haymakers and spitting epithets. That was hardly the case. Truth is, the discussion didn’t even involve Durant. Russell was mad at Thabo Sefolosha for passing up a wide open shot in the corner. Then, Kendrick Perkins was disgruntled (isn’t he always?) at Westbrook for a defensive breakdown. Kevin Durant got involved only because he thought that Westbrook was being too had on Thabo. It had nothing to do with offensive touches or playcalling…it was about sticking up for your teammates. At the same time, you can’t discount the incident either. The fact that KD was defending his teammate from Russell paints his co-star as ‘the bad guy’ and also showed exactly who’s team this is (as if we didn’t already know). Don’t try and tell me that Westbrook was just frustrated by his poor shooting…his struggles came after the incident. Russell was in a funk the rest of that night, a cloud. What do you expect? Russell probably felt like nobody had his back on the team. Following the game, Durant said “I’m behind him 110 percent, and he’s the same way with me. And you seen when we came on the floor we clicked and everything started to work from there.” Yeah, Russ missed all of his 13 shots…I doubt he felt everything was “clicking.”

I see a lot of Stephon Marbury in Russell Westbrook. He’s a young scoring point guard still fighting for his spot in this league. We all remember the saga between him and Kevin Garnett in the 1990′s. Marbury eventually requested a trade because he wanted to do his own thing (the cold Minnesota weather didn’t help either)…he was tired of being that Kevin’s little brother. In Oklahoma City, I fear that the same thing may happen down the road with this Kevin. Both Durant and Westbrook are only 23 years of age. They have a lot of growing left to do an may not be able to do it together and win a championship. Russell may be better off changing uniforms in order to reach his true potential. I think the team should look to move their young point guard while his stock is still rising.

In the NBA, it’s not always the moves you make but the moves you don’t make. In OKC, it’s more like the move they should’ve made. The Hornets were at one point interested in trading Chris Paul for Westbrook, but GM Sam Presti was not open to the idea of moving Russell. I wonder how he’ll feel about that decision a year from now? While Russ is a supreme talent and is still getting better, he’s got that ‘Starbury’ syndrome…he wants to be ‘the man’ just like Durant. CP3, however, has already established himself in this league and would’ve been fine running the team and letting KD get all the props.

Some of you may point out that Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’neal had friction and still won three rings together with the Los Angeles Lakers. The difference there was that not only were their games more complimentary than Durant-Westbrook (one a dominant post player, the other a phenomenal wing scorer) but they also never had public spats on the court. If you just watched Laker games and never saw SportsCenter, you wouldn’t have known they had problems. While all we hear is how Kevin and Russell like playing together off the court, on the court we keep seeing drama. Marbury and Garnett never had beef on the court either, and we saw how they ended up. The shoot-first style of Westbrook isn’t a good fit with the scoring savant Durant. The best thing for them would be a pass-first point guard. The team can make up the scoring by inserting James Harden into the starting lineup.  

Kevin Durant is one of those rare superstars that comes around in this league. He’s the kind of guy you just give anything he wants. No, he’s not a threat to leave via free agency (due to his monster contract extension). It’s more about making sure your superstar has all the pieces in place and atmosphere to take full advantage of what could be a dynasty-type run in Loud City. Durant should have 100% say in everything going on with the franchise, from the brand of towels used to the popcorn flavor served at concession stands…he’s just that good of a player and leader. Rename the city Durantuland, OK…whatever it takes to make the guy feel comfortable and playing at his best. One day Durant will see the reality…his team will go farther if Russell Westbrook isn’t by his side. The second he makes this known to management, they should be on the phone immediately.

KD will bring a championship to the city of Oklahoma City…few young players have that ability all by themselves (other than Derrick Rose). He just needs the right group around him…..and Russell Westbrook may not be part of it.

 

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{for more Thunder coverage check out the OKC Team Page}

 

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3 Responses to Durant & Westbrook: Cloudy Future In Loud City

  1. Gerard on January 16, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    That’s the funniest pic I’ve ever seen LOL
    Serious tho, Durant and Westbrook need to find a way to be productive together on the court, they’ve shown it at times but not enough to get to the Finals, yet.

  2. Sebastian on February 14, 2012 at 5:14 am

    It’s just not a good fit, you can see that with braille.

  3. mayne man on February 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    this team is just fine. a little more time 2gether and we’re talking dynasty.

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