For fans of the Seattle Supersonics, Kevin Durant's decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors was bliss - pure, unadulterated, and unapologetic bliss. Two self-explanatory reasons? We don't like the Thunder. We do love Durant.
As happy as we are to see Kevin in new duds and digs, however, this hasn't been all sunshine and roses for him. It wasn't easy for him to leave Oklahoma City and it didn't come without cost. It cost him the adoration of fans in OKC, where he went from hero to villain in 60 seconds.
From what Durant told the media in Rio De Janeiro, it sounds like it might have also cost him his friendship with Russell Westbrook, who recently signed an extension with the Thunder. A Boston Globe report revealed the following.
After tiptoeing for the past few weeks about his relationship with Westbrook, Durant finally admitted it has been damaged and nearly dissolved, a difficult reality for one of the league's good guys.
Durant was asked whether he would reach out to Westbrook to congratulate him for his contract extension or even to mend their damaged bond. Durant wasn't eager.
"Nah, that's a touchy subject," he said. "It's easy for someone else to tell me what I should do, but you guys don't know that whole thing. I don't know man, I'll see after this is over, once everything dies down. Like I said, at some point we'll sit down and talk but I don't know when."
No matter who you are or what the reason, it sucks to lose a friendship and it sucks to be thought of as the villain by a group of people who used to worship the ground you walked on. Kevin Durant is both wealthy and a member of an amazing basketball team, so I don't know if he needs any comforting. But if he does, I know where he can find it.
So I make this offer to Mr. Durant: Any time you feel the need for a hug, just hop a plane to Seattle, where you will get all of them you need.
KEVIN NESGODA SCOOPED EVERYONE?
Oh, boy. We will never hear the end of this.
It seems that the news that Westbrook had agreed to a deal with the Thunder was first reported by... Sonics Rising's very own Kevin Nesgoda. He apparently has well-placed sources at his disposal, who are willing to... you know... talk to Kevin Nesgoda. Behold the following Twitter sequence:
Westbrook is about to sign an extension with OKC. Details are with the league for final approvals. Press conference tomorrow.— Kevin Nesgoda (@KDN4) August 3, 2016
That's right. Kevin beat Adrian Wojnarowski to the story. If that's not enough to give him a big head, he's getting props from a senior writer at ESPN to boot.
Been driving all evening (no tweeting while driving!) but wanted to shout out @KDN4 for first mention of advanced Westbrook contract talks— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) August 4, 2016
It will be up to all of us to help keep Nesgoda's ego in check.