HoopsHype Russell Westbrook rumors

May 31, 2014 Updates

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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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

Durant scored 33 points, Russell Westbrook had a triple-double, and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Grizzlies 120-109 on Saturday night in Game 7 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series. Durant looked like his usual self after struggling against Memphis' rugged defense for much of the series. The regular-season scoring champion made 12-of-18 field goals and all five of his three-pointers after struggling from long range throughout the series. "I got out of my own way," he said. "I was thinking too much. I was worrying about what you guys (the media) were saying. I was worrying about what shots I was going to shoot throughout a game. I was thinking too much, and the game of basketball is played off of instincts. USA Today Sports

April 25, 2014 Updates

For instance, we got back to our hotel after the game, probably around 1:30 a.m., and decided to get something to eat. So we walked the few blocks to Blues City Cafe, which is open from 11 a.m. to 5 a.m. And on the way, we ran into a certain Ray Westbrook. Yes, the same Ray Westbrook whose big brother plays a little hoops for the Thunder, and the same Ray Westbrook who in the middle of Game 3 tweeted that the Thunder needed a new coach. Ray is a friendly fellow, and we asked him about the tweet. He said the Thunder already had reached out to him to express its displeasure, but he was unapologetic. “That’s how I felt,” he said. “If you don’t like it, don’t follow me.” Oklahoman

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