The last time the Thunder and Warriors played, Westbrook refused to acknowledge KD when he tried to say something to him on the court, and Westbrook also appeared to tell his teammate Enes Kanter not to say anything to KD as he walked back to the locker room after the game. And when you add that to some of the other things Westbrook has said and done with regards to KD in recent months (and who can forget those IG cupcakes?!), it seems clear Westbrook and Durant aren’t buddy-buddy anymore.
But KD sat down with ESPN’s Marc Stein this week, as he prepares to match up against Westbrook and the Thunder for the third time this season on Saturday, and he said that he thinks whatever beef exists between him and Westbrook is all manufactured by the media. He cited one specific example centered around the time Westbrook responded angrily to a comment KD made about the Warriors being "unselfish" as evidence of this, and he called the rift that exists between the two "fake drama."
"I realized that early on in the season,” KD said. "I was doing an interview with someone and I used the word 'unselfish' to describe my teammates here [with] the Warriors, and someone asked Russell the question, asked if he heard what I said about being unselfish and he phrased the question as if I was saying that the Thunder and the organization and the team was selfish. And once I heard that, I was like, 'Well, they’re trying to get in between this thing and make it bigger than what it is.' Obviously, Russell wasn’t going to hear that [full] interview I had about me just talking about my teammates I have now, and someone in Oklahoma City phrased it to him as if I was calling them selfish…It’s that easy for the media to twist something up and for the media to, you know, make a feud between us."
KD said it works both ways, too. He believes he could have easily gotten upset on Christmas Day when many blogs speculated about whether or not Westbrook yelled, "Thank you, Kyrie," after seeing Kyrie Irving sink a game-winning shot to beat the Warriors. But he said he chooses not to do that.
"When we lost to the Cavs on Christmas, I looked at my phone and someone said Russell screamed, 'Thank you, Kyrie,' running off the court," he said. "And I’m thinking, 'No, he didn’t say that ‘cause I know Russell.' But you see how easy it is for me to think, 'Wow, that was pretty petty for him to say that.' But I feel like everybody is trying to get in between [us] for their own entertainment, and it’s not even that serious."
It might not be that serious to KD, but it does seem a little bit more personal for Westbrook. And we’ll probably find out just how "fake" the drama between them really is soon enough. Outside of playing against one another on Saturday, KD and Westbrook will also play together in the All-Star Game later this month. And if they don’t play nice during that game, we’ll know for sure that there’s nothing "fake" about their beef.