HoopsHype Russell Westbrook rumors

June 1, 2014 Updates
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Ibaka admitted the ploy threw him off, and he had his first dud since joining the Western Conference finals in Game 3. Yet any notion that the San Antonio’s two role players suddenly present an unsolvable riddle for the Thunder in Saturday’s do-or-die Game 6 (8:30 p.m. ET, TNT) literally made point guard Russell Westbrook shake his head. “They’re not the first stretch-4s that we’ve played,” Westbrook following the team’s morning shootaround. “We played Dirk [Nowitzki], LaMarcus [Aldridge], Kevin Love, all these different bigs that can shoot the ball at a high percentage, so we know what to do.” NBA.com

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Cameras caught Westbrook pointing to his head with both hands and yelling in Durant’s direction just before halftime. The exchange came during the decisive sequence, as the Spurs put together a 22-8 run to close the second quarter and set up a second half that was filled with garbage time. “I was just getting on Kevin about some stuff and he got on me right back,” Westbrook said afterwards. “That’s what teammates do, that’s what leaders do, we get on each other, we come back and we talk about it and then we come out like nothing ever happened.” SI.com

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For six seasons — from Westbrook's arrival as the fourth overall pick out of UCLA in 2008 when they were tabbed this generation's version of Shaq and Kobe to now — Durant has told anyone who would listen that they were wrong about Westbrook. He said there was no friction between them. But he had never told him like this. "Never, never, never," Durant told USA TODAY Sports when asked if he had ever told Westbrook how he felt. "That was the first time I really got to speak from the heart, you know what I'm saying? I felt that it was just the perfect time. You have that sense of 'Yeah, that guy, that guy right there, he's down for me. That guy loves me.' You know what I mean? And I know we both feel that way about each other without even saying nothing, but to tell somebody in front of everybody with tears coming down your eyes? There's just something special about that. "He's human, man. Everybody makes mistakes, but everybody needs to feel like they're loved. Not liked — or like, I wish this person would say something good about me — but they want to feel warmth, you know what I mean? Comfort." USA Today Sports

Durant's speech, make no mistake, played a part here. "It's easy for me to just talk about a person and just say, 'I love this guy, he's the best person, the best teammate,'" Durant said. "But I wanted it to be authentic and real. You know, there are some days when we don't like each other. That's just normal with relationships you have. I'm sure if anybody has a brother or a cousin or somebody you're close with, you have good and bad days, and that's how our relationship is. But through all that, it's love. "I think that with a person like Russell, it just seems like everybody is always on top of him. I feel that he deserves that love, because you can tell he's one of those guys that likes to feel that love." USA Today Sports

A day later, Westbrook would finally speak on the moment. "(It meant) a lot, man," Westbrook said. "I love him like a brother. Since I've been here, he's taught me so much as a player and also things off the floor. I'm really grateful for what he said." Everyone could see what this meant, even the woman who Durant had deemed the "real MVP" in his touching speech. USA Today Sports

May 8, 2014 Updates
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And on Westbrook, who he saved for last: “I know you guys think I forgot Russ. I can speak all night about Russell. An emotional guy who will run through a wall for me. And I don’t take it for granted. I want to just tackle you and tell you to snap out of it sometimes, but I know there’s days you want to do the same thing with me. I love you man. I love you. A lot of people put unfair criticism on you as a player. I’m the first to have your back through it all. Just stay the person you are. Everybody loves you here. I love you and I thank you so much … You had a big piece of this. You’re an MVP-caliber player. It’s a blessing to play with you, man.” Oklahoman

May 4, 2014 Updates

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