City Sports Report

Kevin Durant And Russell Westbrook: The Odd Couple

Durant and Westbrook are the NBA's version of the Odd Couple (photo courtesy of www.espn.com)

Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder is undoubtedly a special talent. He is arguably the fastest player in the NBA and is also one of the most athletic players in the league. But it seems like now he is taking it to another level. He has missed some games this season due to injury, but he is putting up the best numbers of his career. He is on pace for a career year in assists, points and rebounds per game. But along with that, he is also shooting more shots than he ever has in his career. And just like that, the same question pops back up again. The dominant play of Westbrook has had some bring up the Westbrook versus Kevin Durant debate and whether both can co-exist together on a team that can win a championship. As for Westbrook’s All-Star MVP award, he spoke on how he felt when he heard that Durant was happy for him winning the award: “It was definitely amazing to share this with a brother. He’s definitely happy for me. I cannot wait to get back on the floor with him and get things going.”

The bond that Westbrook and Durant share is something that many will not understand, and though some continue to attack Westbrook and Durant’s pairing, the two remain happy together in Oklahoma City and look like they want to stay together for the foreseeable future. Many times, there are manufactured stories that take on an extended life. And in this instance, it seems that because Westbrook and Durant are not the traditional pairing, they have been targeted for extinction. But fortunately, these two have been hearing this for years and will not stop going forward. Their bond started since they were drafted a year apart from each other, and as it looks, it will continue to grow.

Durant is viewed by many as the dominant scorer on the team that is too passive when it comes to demanding the basketball. The eight-year pro out of the University of Texas has been atop the NBA in scoring for many years, yet he still gets this criticism. And it has happened not once, but many times. Being who Durant is, the criticism seems not to bother him as much as many would like it to. Durant probably could not tell anyone how many shots he shoots during the game, how many misses he had or how many points he had in the fourth quarter. But what he can probably tell you is the plays he or his teammates made to win the game. More than the points he puts up, Durant is worried more about winning. Of course he will face his fair share of criticism, but he can take it and his will to be successful is as big as anyone else out there. The only difference is Durant does it in a way that is quieter than others. So when folks ask him questions or criticize when Westbrook shoots more shots than he does or takes a big shot for the team, Durant is not phased at all. He just wants the win at the end of the day. He is a competitor, but he is just the quiet, or should I say quieter, one in this pairing.

Westbrook is definitely the more outspoken of this pairing. The point guard in his  seventh year point out of UCLA has been dynamic throughout his entire career. The only thing that some wondered is if he could transition to playing point guard in the NBA and find that balance between making plays for himself and for others. Over the years, he, like Durant, has received his fair share of criticism. But his was for different reasons than Durant. Westbrook was and still is considered by some a shooting guard playing point guard. And each and every year there are some followers of the game that try and say that the Thunder would be better served moving him to shooting guard instead of continuing to play him at the point guard spot. But Westbrook, in his typical fashion, just continues to play hard. People can question whether or not he gets the basketball to Durant at the right times, but they can never question whether he will give his all for his team. And in regards to his team, he has also accepted a leadership role with this team that he had not in the past: “I think leadership is big for me. And definitely big for our team. A part of my job as a point guard is to lead. And that’s what I have been trying to do all season, coming with better leadership and trying to come in and lead every day.” Some may take that as Westbrook trying to take over this team, but in essence he is just trying to do what point guards do: lead. And in doing that, he is not trying to take over the team from Durant. Some may suggest it, but both know they need each other.

Westbrook and Durant have been an odd pairing to some and a great pairing for others. They have had some success and some failures together. But for those that say these two need to be separated, they may want to examine a few things. These two are more than just teammates. They are brothers connected on a journey toward bringing the ultimate success to Oklahoma City. And whether we like it or not, they are trying to complete their journey united on one team. They may not be a conventional, but they get the job done. And the truth is together they have taken the Oklahoma City Thunder to new heights. Now if they could only get someone that could score in the post to help them.

For more sports talk, please feel free to contact me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

7 Comments

  1. Jason

    February 17, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    The odd couple indeed. They do go together though I think their coach needs to be replaced but they belong together.

  2. ASR

    February 17, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Agreed, OKC never should have traded Jeff Green and kept Harden. Imagine that starting 5??

    • Mike Patton

      February 17, 2015 at 3:56 pm

      Ultimately I believe they felt they would not have been able to pay all of them when it came time. And that part is true.

      • REGGIE

        February 17, 2015 at 5:15 pm

        They traded Jeff Green for Kendrick Perkins – to give them a Body in the Middle, which helped in them going to the Finals. They should have gotten Green back, tho. Harden wanted even More than what OKC had offered – plus, he wanted to Start. They SHOULDN’T have traded Eric Bledsoe, on Draft Night…He would be their PG right now – with Westbrook at SG. Mitch McGary is a Big Bonus for them…Ibaka needs to take Less three-pointers n return to the Post.

        • Mike Patton

          February 17, 2015 at 5:19 pm

          Westbrook is the point guard of this team. Let that be clear. As far as Ibaka, he never was a true post player.

  3. REGGIE

    February 17, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Your comments are Valid. I thought coming into the Season they were going to start Jackson – at SG, for I feel Scott Brooks is afraid to upset Westbrook in moving him from PG – which he Should move him.

    • Mike Patton

      February 17, 2015 at 5:20 pm

      He shouldn’t move him from PG. He has been playin that position for his entire NBA career, so no need to change him positions now.

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