Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant and Los Angeles Lakers star Russell Westbrook’s names will probably be linked forever. The two stars spent most of their young careers as co-stars on the Oklahoma City Thunder. The two future Hall of Famers had a bitter break-up in 2016. After blowing a 3-1 lead to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals, Durant left behind his co-star to join the same team that had eliminated them just weeks prior.
Durant and Westbrook shared the court once more on November 13, this time as opponents when Durant’s Nets took on Westbrook’s Lakers. Westbrook had one of the highlights of the night when he blocked Durant’s shot which sent the Lakers crowd into a frenzy during the 116-103 victory over the Nets. When asked about the play after the game, Durant jokingly called out the Lakers star for being a hack.
“He’s just going to hack me the whole time… Regardless of what setting it is, it’s always been like that between us,” Durant told reporters after the loss via @_talkin_NBA on Twitter.
The latest Nets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Nets newsletter here!
Durant Sounds off on OKC Departure
Durant’s decision to leave the Thunder and join the Warriors sent shockwaves through the NBA. During an appearance on Chips, a series hosted by Warriors forward Draymond Green, Durant details his decision to ultimately part from the franchise that drafted him.
“It was a basketball decision, but I also didn’t give a f***. I felt like I was absolutely the perfect fit on both sides of the ball for the Warriors, and I felt like my game reached a point where I had to really see what that looked like. I felt like that move was a no-brainer,” Durant said of his decision to leave the Thunder.
” I always knew that I wanted to end up in Golden State even though I had to go through the process of all those meetings. Just the way you guys handled yourselves in interviews, the way you guys played, I knew that’s where I wanted to be.”
Durant Sounds off on Jacque Vaughan Hiring
Despite the loss, the Nets have faired well in the Jacque Vaughan era, as they boast a 4-3 record since he took over as head coach. After Steve Nash got fired earlier this month, Vaughan was initially supposed to be the interim head coach while the Nets front office found a permanent candidate.
But ultimately, the Nets decided that Vaughan was the best man for the job and removed the interim title from his name. Durant says that Vaughan’s opportunity has been a long time coming.
“I think he was due for an opportunity here. Not just any head coaching job, but I felt like it was here… If the spot was gonna come open, I felt like he was the guy because he paid his dues, knows the players, seen the guys come in and out, tight relationship with the front office,” Durant said during the latest episode of his podcast “The ETCs”.
“I think he can connect with the players a little easier because it’s hard to transition a new guy midway through the season, early in the season like this, so I felt like just for the continuity purposes it was good for us to stick with Jacque. And I’m happy for him, he deserves this opportunity. Great basketball mind, a great team builder, great leader of men. So, I’m looking forward to building.”
Vaughan and the Nets have a chance to get back on the right track in their next game against the Sacramento Kings.