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Thursday Bolts – 11.3.16

Thursday Bolts – 11.3.16

Erik Horne: “Fans, media and team officials weren’t the only ones taken aback by Durant’s


abnormal behavior. Privately, Westbrook was so stunned by his buddy’s behavior he called his teammate to ask what was going on. The mercurial point guard felt his personality had begun rubbing off on Durant. He told his co-star that’s not him and went out of his way to apologizing to team officials for the role he might have played in Durant reveling in an edgier dark side.”

Nathaniel Friedman for GQ: “The question is, what’s in it for Russ this season? The answer lies somewhere in Kevin Durant’s rambling, at times frustrated responses, to this week’s reports about his relationship with Westbrook. An emotionally-charged collision with a Thunder team buoyed by Russ’s defiant play couldn’t come at a worse time for the Warriors, who are still finding their rhythm. Durant may be cool, but he’s not dispassionate; if anything, he’s way more sensitive than he lets on. He knows that Westbrook is on a vendetta this season and that he’s the target—or at very least, the catalyst.”

I wrote on Russ and KD a little.

Tim Bontemps of the WaPo: “That doesn’t mean there aren’t relationships forged and bonds created. Unprompted Monday during the Warriors’ shoot-around, Durant was observed celebrating the extensions Steven Adams and Victor Oladipo signed with the Thunder before that night’s deadline for rookie contract extensions. Friday night in the locker room, following the Warriors’ road win over the New Orleans Pelicans, Durant was visibly excited watching Westbrook’s highlights from the Thunder’s last-second win over the Suns. The public’s perception that Durant and Westbrook have devolved into bitter enemies doesn’t seem to hold true given the evidence at hand, nor Durant’s own words.”

Reminder: Russ is really done talking about KD.

KD: “The thing is, I’m not a hater,” Durant told ESPN on Wednesday. “Russ is a great basketball player. I love watching him play. I’m a fan of his game. I don’t wish bad things on people. That’s not what I’m about. I’ve always supported him and will continue to support him.”

Big news from 538: The Thunder probably aren’t winning it all.

James Herbert of CBSSports.com: “The short answer is that it’s probably just not true. Maybe Durant did go to Golden State in part because he thought the style of play was more appealing than taking turns with Westbrook on offense. Maybe Westbrook was indeed insulted when it happened and disappointed that Durant informed him with a text other than a call. None of that means there’s real hostility here, aside from both of them wanting to destroy the other one on the court. The good news: Durant and Westbrook trying to destroy each other on the court should be entertaining enough.”

Matt Moore of CBSSports.com: “He is a special enough player in a special enough situation. Perspective: You can’t keep this up. He’ll run out of gas and either suffer an injury or lose the ability to play that many minutes. It’s just not something that can be done night in and night out. And one of this triple-doubles came in an overtime game. Plus, these all came vs. bad teams. Without spacing and another threat, teams will throw enough doubles at him to limit him and keep him off those marks. It’s just not possible. Is it?”