Before Kevin Durant decided to sign with the Golden State Warriors, the conventional wisdom was that his likeliest move would be to re-up in Oklahoma City for one more season before making a long-term decision. The reason for that was simple: the Thunder had just taken the Warriors to seven games in the Western Conference Finals, and if Durant had run it back for another year, he could time his free agency with Russell Westbrook’s. Obviously, that wasn’t the decision Durant ultimately chose to make, and on Wednesday, during his promotional tour in Hong Kong, Durant admitted that their relationship was never going to be what it was after he left.
Since Durant left the Thunder for the Warriors, there have been reports that there was tension between the two stars, some of which stemmed from Durant’s close relationship with Draymond Green. ESPN.com’s Royce Young also reported that Durant had dinner with Westbrook during the free agency process, and Westbrook lobbied strongly for Durant to stay.
After Durant’s decision, it’s easy to see why their relationship will be strained, at least for a while. For one year, Westbrook will be stranded in Oklahoma City without a title-contending team, unless he’s traded between now and February’s trade deadline. The first game of the season between the Warriors and Thunder (or whichever team Westbrook is traded to) will be a must-watch. Westbrook will probably do everything in his power to score 80 points.
For the record, Durant doesn’t really care what anyone else thinks about his decision to join the Warriors, either: