Friday, 5 August 2016

Kevin Durant says talking to Russell Westbrook now is ‘a touchy deal’

Kevin Durant’s foremost concern these days is playing for Team USA, but his decision to join a new NBA team is still a very hot topic. It’s one that followed him to Rio de Janeiro, where he and other members of the U.S. squad met with reporters Thursday. Given that Russell Westbrook, Durant’s former running mate on the Thunder, just signed a contract extension with that team, questions about their relationship were quick to come up.

Earlier reports had indicated that Westbrook was “hurt,” angry” and “ticked off,” both about Durant’s decision to defect to the rival Warriors and that Westbrook did not hear of the news from the forward’s own mouth. In his own news conference announcing his new deal Thursday, Westbrook told the media that he found about it “on the news, on the cellphones, the social media,” adding that he received “just a text message from [Durant], that’s about it.”

[Westbrook just saved the Thunder in the wake of Durant’s departure]

Asked if, in the wake of Westbrook’s contract, he would reach out to his ex-teammate, Durant said (via The Vertical), “That’s a touchy deal. I don’t know.”

“It’s easy for someone else to tell me what I should do, but you guys don’t know how that whole thing [went down],” Durant added. “I don’t know, man. I’ll see after this is over and once everything dies down. Like I said before, at some point we’ll sit down and talk. But I don’t know when.”

Westbrook also indicated that, at some point, he and Durant would get together to discuss what happened in free agency, saying, “We’ve been together eight years. You don’t throw that away. Obviously, he’s now with a new team. But we definitely will talk, eventually. But, obviously, now we haven’t.”

[Westbrook signing has Enes Kanter trolling Durant and Lakers fans]

Previously, Durant had said of opting to sign with Golden State, “I just told [Westbrook], I just let him know how I felt.” Apparently, that thought was expressed by a text message, and Durant was left with the impression that Westbrook “wasn’t happy about the decision, but he respected it as my friend.”

However, Durant acknowledged last month, “obviously, our relationship probably won’t ever be the same again.” His words Thursday reinforced that notion, as even if his friendship with Westbrook can be salvaged, it is clearly in a rather awkward state at the moment.

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