After Westbrook deal, what’s next for OKC?
Where do the Thunder go from here? Will they be West contenders again? Any big trades in their future? Kevin Pelton breaks down the significance of the Russell Westbrook deal.
Enes Kanter trolls Kevin Durant and Lakers fans
Enes Kanter gave Lakers fans the Crying Jordan treatment and trolled Kevin Durant’s Players’ Tribune announcement after Russell Westbrook agreed to stay in OKC.
Russell Westbrook has proved to be worth it in the past
Stats Info puts Russell Westbrook’s new contract and his on-court performance the last few seasons into perspective.
“On the news, on the cell phones, the social media,” Westbrook said Thursday during a news conference to announce an extension with the Thunder that is potentially worth $85.7 million over the next three seasons. “I talked to Kevin early on in the process. But nothing after. Just a text message from him, that’s about it.”
After eight seasons together, Durant signed a two-year, $54.3 million contract with the Golden State Warriors on July 4. The Thunder led Golden State 3-1 in the Western Conference finals before losing in Game 7.
Asked if Durant choosing the Warriors stings more, Westbrook was blunt.
“Sting for who?” he said, smiling.
“Listen, I understand free agency,” Westbrook said. “I understand having the opportunity to go where we need to go. But once that happened, I told [GM] Sam [Presti], ‘What’s next?’ To me, that’s just my mentality: What’s the next thing we need to do to help our team win. That’s all I’m worried about, to find ways to come in and figure out ways to make the team become a great organization.”
In their eight seasons together, Durant and Westbrook appeared in four conference finals and one NBA Finals. As teammates, they blossomed into one of the most successful and potent duos in the NBA.
However, since Durant’s decision, he and Westbrook have not spoken.
“We’d been together eight years,” Westbrook said. “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 was asked if he’s anticipating forthcoming matchups against Durant and the Warriors.
“Do you want to say it or do you want me to say it?” he said. “You know what I’m going to say.
“Like I said before, no game is no bigger, no less, no player, no place. I stand behind that because I play every game like it’s my last. I go out to compete regardless of who’s on the floor, regardless of if we’re playing Golden State, Philadelphia, Milwaukee. It doesn’t matter to me. My job is to go out and compete for our team.”