Russell Westbrook lives life on the basketball court with plenty of emotional highs and lows. In my personal opinion, "Russie" as I like to call him, is the most explosive player in the NBA. From exploding to the rim as a one-man fast break to exploding into an emotional tirade after a referee's call against him. Kevin Durant lives life like he's driving two miles per hour, so everybody sees him. Durant might be the coolest player in the NBA. From coolly dealing with double teams to coolly going on the Kevin Durant Streetball World Tour, the man handles adversity like no one I've ever seen.
When the two men interact with each other, it looks like a clash of styles. One a raging fireball and the other like an unturned pillow, and that can only mean one thing: they can't get along. Break them up! They hate each other!
Yep, and that would be the silliest thing anyone could believe, even if the narrative has been spun that way for the last few months.
Nick Collison was asked why the national media seems to have such a fixation on the supposed rift between Westbrook and Durant. Spoken like a true wise man, Collison points out that the more they talk about it, the more money that goes in everyone's pockets.
Nick Collison on national interest in a RW/KD rift: "People talk about it, it generates interest, ratings go up, the BRI goes up. All good."— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) March 10, 2012
This is what it comes down to when you have the league's second-best record and a roster with as much young talent as the Jackson household did back in the early '70s. Collison's point is made; fans have proven that they are genuinely interested in seeing a clash between these two young stars. The talking heads at our favorite sports networks continually discuss it, the water cooler holds strong concerning the subject and the barbershop will arise in a heated debate about it.
That "it" is something that the Thunder players have tried to quell since last year. Truth be told, what other negatives can you bring up with this team? They shoot too many jumpers? They don't have a definitive offensive threat down on the low block? Those talking points don't last long when you're 32-9 and thumping teams by 20 points regularly.
If I could say anything to Westbrook and Durant, I'd say wear this as a badge of honor. They talk about the so-called rift so much because there's nothing else to talk about. Or as Machiavelli would say, "Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil." Let them keep hating, boys. Keep up the good work.