Westbrook, Durant All-Star reunion off to awkward start
NEW ORLEANS — Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant had plenty to say at their first NBA All-Star appearance since splitting up as teammates in Oklahoma City.
Just not about one another.
Reunited on the Western Conference All-Star team for this weekend’s event, Westbrook and Durant will have to practice together on Saturday and play together on Sunday.
If either of them expects it to be awkward — particularly after the way they barked at one another in a recent regular season game — they weren’t discussing it on Friday.
Westbrook smirked and responded to questions about any potential awkward interaction with Durant, who left the Thunder over the summer to join the Golden State Warriors, with thoughts on New York City’s Fashion Week.
“Man, you know what? Fashion week has been great. You seen fashion week? You been paying attention to fashion week?” Westbrook responded to a question about Durant. “There’s a lot of great-looking things at fashion week, man. I’m looking forward to new collections.”
Later came another, more general question about playing with four members of Golden State on the West team — Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green — and Westbrook shot back:
“What’s your favorite fashion brand? What you like?”
For his part, Durant was curt, or vague or sometimes critical of the media for obsessing over things that aren’t important. Not to him anyway.
He used a total of five words to respond to his first question about the opportunity to play with Westbrook again:
“I’m excited to be here.”
Later, Durant said more directly, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
At other times, he became philosophical, minimizing the significance of contract talks, trades or when stars change teams.
“It’s not real-life problems,” Durant said, so he prefers to “just block it out.”
He added: “Stuff you guys may think is important, I don’t really think is important at all, so when I look at it that way, it’s pretty easy to me.”
Ultimately, which five players are on the court at any given time will be up to West coach Steve Kerr.
So far, Kerr has been coy about how he’ll handle his rotations. Of course, the Golden State coach used to work in TV, so he knows as well as anyone how to maintain intrigue.
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