Kevin Durant leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder and joining the Golden State Warriors during free agency was the story of the summer. His relationship with longtime and now former teammate Russell Westbrook became an even bigger story. The rhetoric was that Durant had abandoned his friend and didn’t even give him a heads up. Several reports were written about their relationship; the numerous questions and subsequent quotes from each guy only added fuel to the fire. All eyes were on them during their first game as opponents, and even more eyes when they were teammates at the All-Star game. While appearing Bill Simmons’ podcast Friday, the currently injured Warriors star discussed the media “manufacturing” their beef, and wanting to talk to Westbrook.
BS: Did you even have a moment with Westbrook that first game? Did you even acknowledge each other?
BS: That part’s strange to me.
KD: Yeah, I can’t lie. It is. Because we spent some time together. And I understand who I left to go to and what happened and all this stuff. And then on top of that, to me, I don’t really think he got a problem. I don’t really think it’s — but if you ask a man every single day about me, I would be pissed, too…So I think that’s what added to this feud or this beef that we have, which is all manufactured.
BS: But at the All-Star Game, when you guys had the play, the way the teammates reacted I thought it was pretty funny. Because it felt like the whole thing made them feel awkward and they were happy that something happened, right?
KD: It was. It was awkward. Everybody see it. Everybody talked about it. The whole time that was the topic of discussion. It was ‘Who’s getting traded and are they talking to each other?’ It was corny. It’s tabloid, TMZ talk. It’s not even basketball. It’s not even what’s important in this game.
BS: There was an Instagram video at one point where you were entering the arena one of the days and he was ahead of you, but you weren’t talking. I’m like, ‘What is this, eighth grade?’
KD: It was awkward for me because I’m like — first of all, I got pride. We both got pride. So if I walk up to somebody and they just ignore me I would get really upset. I would get really mad. You know what I’m saying? I don’t really get mad at a lot. But that pisses me off. So I didn’t want to make it an awkward situation for him. I didn’t want to make it an awkward situation for me. So it was weird.
BS: So he probably feels the same way.
KD: Yeah, exactly.
BS: It sounds like you just need Kendrick Perkins to get you guys in a room together.
KD: Exactly. I never even told nobody this. I wanted to ask Russell, like, ‘How’s your family doing, man? How you feel?’ Stuff that normal people talk about. But there’s so many cameras watching and it’s ‘Oh, what’d they talk about? They didn’t look at each other. They didn’t even say hi.’ It was just making me so mad.