How Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook Went From Close Teammates to Having Beef With Each Other

Published 08/11/2021, 12:52 AM EDT


Rivalries between players in sports are common. However, former teammates having a beef is a rare instance. In the NBA, some of the famous beefs were between Kevin Durant-Russell Westbrook and Kobe Bryant, and Shaq. These two pairs turned from great teammates to bitter rivals after a change of teams.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

With the case of KD and Russ, Durant joined the Warriors in 2016. Prior to that, Westbrook and he played in OKC for 8 years. But, Durant joined the 73-9 team that had beaten them in the previous season. While it was a personal decision, it did not sit well with the basketball world.

Aug. 12, 2012 – London, England, United Kingdom – Team USA basketball gold medal winners including LEBRON JAMES, KEVIN DURANT, DERON WILLIAMS, JAMES HARDING, RUSSELL WESTBROOK, KOBE BRYANT, and ANTHONY DAVIS pose for photos after their game against Spain during the 2012 London Summer Olympics. ((Photo by Mark Makela/Corbis via Getty Images)

This was followed by a series of events portraying the beef. Here is how the KD and Russell Westbrook beef played out.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

‘My Guy’: Warriors’ Steph Curry Approves Lionel Messi’s Decision to Join PSG for a Striking Similarity

about 2 months ago

Russell Westbrook vs Kevin Durant

At one time, these two were close teammates. During his MVP speech, KD even said that Russ makes him better. However, one move turned it all around. After spending 9 years in OKC without adding a championship, Kevin moved to the Bay. However, his way of leaving OKC looked sneaky.

DENVER, CO – NOVEMBER 10: Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) smiles and high fives Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) after hitting a three pointer and getting fouled on the play during the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets November 10, 2016 at Pepsi Center. (Photo By John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

As Kevin did not say a word to Russ about going to the Warriors, Westbrook took this as a stab in the back. In a Jordan commercial, Westbrook used the tagline ‘Some run, some make runways.’ This was probably a shot at Durant’s move to the Warriors that season.

In their second matchup, Russ went off on one of his teammates. He yelled at Enes Kanter because he went to speak with Kevin Durant. Russell Westbrook clearly stood against KD for the way he left Oklahoma. Later, there were quite a few heated moments between these two and the tension was real. But are they friends now?

Are Russ and KD good?

Well, fans got what they wanted in the 2017 All-Star game. In a play, as Kevin Durant threw a lob to Westbrook, everyone in the arena went nuts. From then on out, there has been nothing but respect between the former teammates.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

There have been many occasions where they were seen talking to each other and having a good time. After a match in 2019, they shared a post-game hug. Moreover, Westbrook and KD had a chat after the game between the Nets and Washington.

To sum it up, it is safe to say that these two stars have squashed their beef now. They have had a wild journey together, going from teammates to rivals and now back to being friends. Now, with Russell Westbrook on the Lakers, we could see an NBA finals matchup between the Nets and the Lakers.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

If they do face-off, who do you think will win the finals? Let us know in the comments below.

WATCH THIS STORY-  Warriors’ Steph Curry Writing on His Shoes and Other Bizarre Superstitions that NBA Players Follow

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Anuj Talwalkar

295 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT