This week, ESPN's Royce Young reported that Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was "both angry and hurt not only by [Kevin] Durant's decision to leave [Oklahoma City ] but also because Durant didn't even call to tell him personally" that he was signing elsewhere.
Young also said that Westbrook and forward Nick Collison, Durant's two longest-tenured OKC teammates, passionately tried to persuade KD to stay during a dinner shortly before Durant announced his decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors.
Yesterday, during a conversation on ESPN's Truehoop Podcast, Young dropped a potentially tantalizing tidbit about the KD/Westbrook situation, implying that Durant had told his longtime running mate that he wasn't leaving town.
Three weeks ago, Kevin Durant’s sitting there at dinner, telling him “Hey, I’m coming back, man. Don’t worry about it.” And now, Russell Westbrook has been kind of thrown into this in having to decide his future a summer earlier than expected.
Kevin Durant, more so than even that, was telling people, “Hey, yeah, I mean I’m coming back.” Like I said in there, a week before Kevin Durant sat down in the Hamptons, he was in Oklahoma City ready to make an offer on a multi-million-dollar house. So, the guy was pretty serious about coming back, and then things turned rather quickly for him to leave. And there’s no doubt that the organization felt a little bit burned by this.
As others have noted, it is tough to know exactly what Durant said and the context which he said it. There's room for nuance and interpretation.
What this does is paint a picture that Durant seemed to be considering this decision very carefully, weighing his many options. Now, the Thunder must shift its attention to trying to keep Westbrook or deal him and start over.
[ The Big Lead ]