Russell Westbrook, by and large, is pretty bloody crabby with Kevin Durant. He’s been crabby ever since Durant packed his bag and walked out on Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder, bound for the Golden State Warriors and all the instant-championship success they’ll probably serve to him on a silver platter.
Russ has responded by flicking his game into expert mode, averaging a very casual triple-double through the season thus far and compiling what will end up being the most inarguable MVP year in recent memory.
That’s been fine. Mostly because Golden State and OKC only play each other a handful of times a year and therefore Russ doesn’t have to be in the same building as KD very often.
Today, however, is a slightly different beast. Today is the NBA All-Star Game. And not only does Russ have to be in the same building as KD, he has to play on the same team as him, and a bunch of his new Warrior m8s.
It might’ve been utter coincidence, but things did not start out very well.
Firstly, Westbrook’s locker in the West All-Stars‘ rooms just-so-happened to be on the complete opposite side of the room to KD’s.
— Tas Melas (@TasMelas) February 19, 2017
Then there was the official team photo, which featured Durant and Westbrook at exact opposite ends of the pic.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook on the complete opposite end of each other for the West team photo. ?? pic.twitter.com/pPrdZSfXn1
— NBA SKITS (@NBA_Skits) February 20, 2017
It even spilled out onto the team warmup, where Russ took shots – by himself – on the opposite end of the floor from Kev and his Bay Area Boys.
Russell Westbrook was practicing away from Kevin Durant and the other West All-Stars so James Harden joined him. pic.twitter.com/R095TCqEnV
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) February 20, 2017
The tension. You can cut it with a knife. Lord knows what would’ve happened if West All-Star coach/Warriors head honcho Steve Kerr asked Russ to feed buckets to KD on the floor.
Fortunately this yarn has something of a happy ending: Durant himself extended the ole’ on-court olive branch by feeding Westbrook an apology alley-oop midway through the first quarter…
Kevin Durant to Russell Westbrook alley-oop pic.twitter.com/q5JRVNGcP0
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) February 20, 2017
…which prompted the West All-Stars bench to react with palpable joy.
CRIES SOME MORE pic.twitter.com/LrbKjncDMY
— victoria (@CountOnVic) February 20, 2017
— NBA TV (@NBATV) February 20, 2017
‘Course Russ then went on to shove John Wall for no discernible reason other than SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE A LOT OF EMOTIONS AND NO OUTLET TO PROPERLY DEAL WITH THEM.
— NBA RETWEET (@RTNBA) February 20, 2017
End of the day, though, we got through this powder-keg of a situation without any blood being spilled.
As far as the NBA is concerned, that’s gotta be a win.
Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty.