Clippers’ Russell Westbrook Sounds Off on Suns’ Kevin Durant

Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant

Getty Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant

After the Los Angeles Clippers finished practice on April 12, Clippers star guard Russell Westbrook sounded off on Phoenix Suns superstar Kevin Durant.

Westbrook, who was teammates with Durant on the Oklahoma City Thunder for eight seasons, said there’s no “beef” between him and KD.

Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors in the summer of 2016 as an unrestricted free agent. It was a controversial move since the Warriors won 73 games during the 2015-16 regular season and defeated the Thunder in the 2016 Western Conference Finals after trailing the series 3-1.

Westbrook and Durant got into a few back-and-forths after Durant joined the Warriors. However, the two future Hall of Famers seemed to have patched things up. The Suns and Clippers face off in the first round of the 2023 playoffs. It will be the first time Durant and Westbrook go up against each other in the postseason.

Russell Westbrook on Kevin Durant: He’s One of the Best Scorers Ever

Westbrook called Durant one of the best scorers he’s ever seen. Durant is a four-time scoring champion and fourth in NBA history in points per game.

The Suns went 8-0 with Durant in the lineup after acquiring the two-time champion and two-time Finals MVP from the Brooklyn Nets. The Texas product averaged 26.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists with Phoenix while shooting 57.0% from the floor, 53.7% from beyond the arc and 83.3% from the free-throw line.

Westbrook, who began the season with the Los Angeles Lakers, averaged 15.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 7.6 assists with the Clippers. The NBA’s all-time leader in triple-doubles will likely guard Suns veteran Chris Paul.

Could the Suns’ Top-Heavy Roster Hurt Them in the Playoffs?

Mo Dakhil of Bleacher Report thinks the Suns’ top-heavy roster could hurt them in the playoffs. Phoenix traded two key starters, Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson, to Brooklyn for Durant.

“The Phoenix Suns made the biggest splash at the trade deadline by acquiring Kevin Durant,” Dakhil wrote on April 11. “To no one’s surprise, it came at a cost. That cost? Two major pieces of the rotation. And it turned the Suns into a top-heavy team. Finding Phoenix’s postseason Achilles’ heel might be as simple as asking: Who will join the core when it matters most? Durant, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul are the obvious starters and crunch-time players. Who is the fifth? Monty Williams has to cobble together a rotation with the pieces who are left over: Landry Shamet, Torrey Craig, Josh Okogie, T.J. Warren, Terrence Ross and Cameron Payne. There is an open competition for that spot.

“It will come down to who can keep the court spread with their shooting and not be a defensive liability. So far, Okogie has started alongside the core four. The Suns have played only eight games with this starting lineup, though, and that might not have been enough to develop the needed chemistry. If the Suns fail to come out of the West (they are favored by FanDuel), it will be because they could not adequately fill the fifth spot in their key lineups.”

Game 1 between the Suns and Clippers is on April 16 at the Footprint Center.