Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder

Durant debunks rumors he and Westbrook are no longer friends

On The Bill Simmons Podcast, Kevin Durant said that he and Russell Westbrook are still friends even though they don’t talk anymore.

During the 2016-17 NBA season, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook’s damaged relationship was a theme that the media ran way too many times. These stories began circulating when Durant decided to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors. But Durant says that all of those stories about his beef with Westbrook are exaggerated because the two are still friends.

Making an appearance on The Bill Simmons Podcast, Durant said that he and Westbrook may have stopped talking, but they are still friends with each other.

Per The Score:

“I don’t think we ever stopped being friends,” Durant said on “The Bill Simmons Podcast.” “We just stopped talking – but I don’t think we stopped being friends.

“(We’re) not talking, nah, but I mean, I don’t think any … there’s no problems,” Durant said. “But I don’t think we ever stopped being friends.”

Durant and Westbrook have a long, storied history together. They became teammates back in 2008, when Westbrook was drafted to the team. They grew up together and improved as basketball players together as they worked in tandem to build the Thunder from the ground up. They went from being nearly at the bottom of the league (record-wise) to making it to the playoffs, then to making it to NBA Finals. They were one of best duos in the league and made the Thunder one of the most feared NBA teams.

In the podcast, Durant and Simmons talked about Irving’s decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers. Durant said that he understands the decision and said Irving probably just wanted a change of scenery, much like he did when he left Oklahoma.

“But at the end of the day, you still gotta go play every day, so you wanna have a good environment where you wanna play as far as, you want some type of structure, you wanna learn the game at a different level, you wanna kind of challenge yourself to fit in with the team and use your skill set a different way. Kyrie reminds me of myself, just from the outside looking in.”

Durant added that like Irving, he just wants to play the game he loves and learn and improve his skills.

At the end of the day, Durant’s decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder was nothing personal or because of Westbrook — it was just business.

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