KD stands behind his troubled old colleague from OKC, Russel Westbrook

October 26, 2022

The struggling Los Angeles Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook has received assistance from Brooklyn Nets All-Star forward Kevin Durant. Westbrook has had a terrible start to the 2022–23 NBA season. For a 0-3, L.A. Westbrook averages 10.3 points as a franchise member on.289/.083/.800 shooting (that is not a mistake), 6.7 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game.

From 2008 to 2016, Westbrook and Durant were teammates with the Oklahoma City Thunder. During that time, the team made four appearances in the Western Conference Finals and one run to the 2012 Finals before losing to the Miami Heat, led by All-Star small forward LeBron James, now a teammate of Westbrook’s.

Durant commented on the allegations levied towards his former Oklahoma City Thunder colleague during the season three debut edition of his The Boardroom podcast, “The ETC’s With KD and Eddie Gonzalez”:

“But if you play in L.A., you’re playing next to the biggest name in sports in LeBron James. Everything you do will be amplified, especially if the outside perception is that your team will struggle. You are open to critique when you don’t play effectively, [but] it’s like you’re making him the butt of your humor now. The discourse around our game is just so toxic at the present point. I get criticism [on the court], but it’s starting.

During their time with the Thunder, Westbrook and Durant were elected league MVPs. However, Westbrook received the honor the season after Durant left for the Golden State Warriors’ more lucrative basketball opportunities. They will always be connected, and even though they can’t get along on the court, it’s terrific to see Durant supporting his former teammate off of it.

In what Durant says, Westbrook is being chastised for his underwhelming on-court performance. Saying that the most expensive player on the squad has seemed to be L.A.’s poorest player is not an overreaction. I hope that soon changes.