OKLAHOMA CITY – Although football season is just around the corner, a former Oklahoma City Thunder star is making headlines.
On July 4, 2016, Kevin Durant announced that he would be leaving the Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors.
Days after the announcement, Durant was blasted by analysts for supposedly picking the team that provided him with the easiest road to a championship.
Following Durant’s departure for California, Russell Westbrook made headlines by signing a contract extension.
“Obviously, being able to come back here is a true blessing. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be than Oklahoma City. You guys have basically, kinda raised me. I was 18, 19-years-old and you guys did nothing but great things for me. Through the good and the bad, you guys supported me overall, and through it all. And I appreciate it. Definitely, when I had the opportunity to be loyal to you guys, that’s the number one option. Loyalty is something I stand by,” Westbrook said in 2016.
Analysts immediately began pondering whether or not the former teammates were still friends, especially after learning that Durant told Westbrook that he was leaving the Thunder via text message.
Durant recently appeared on the Bill Simmons Podcast, where he said that he and Westbrook continue to be friends but do not talk.
“I don’t think we ever stopped being friends. We just stopped talking, but I don’t think we stopped being friends,” Durant said.
When asked about the Kyrie Irving trade, Durant says that he is proud of Irving for standing up for himself.
Durant also talked about how there is no loyalty in sports.
“It’s been happening for years. Guys have been getting traded in their sleep for years. Guys have been getting the s***** end of the stick for years. I mean, some guys have been f****** over organizations too. It’s no loyalty. It’s business. There’s money involved,” Durant said. “Those relationships that you have with trainers and teammates and anybody in the organization, that’s loyalty. That’s friendship. That’s relationship. That’s something that’s gonna last forever. But when it comes to numbers on a paper, at the end of the day, that trumps everything. ‘Does this dude fit our salary cap or into our plans? Nah, let’s see what we can get for him.’ Like, that’s just a part of the game.”
Simmons says some players don’t feel loyalty to cities, but talked about Paul Pierce’s loyalty to Boston.
“If he wouldn’t have won a championship, do you think he would have had the same connection?” Durant said.