Everyone saw the alley oop and everyone lauded over it as a defining moment that may have repaired the relationship of what was going to be a dynasty for a decade. However, when the game ended and reality set in, nothing had changed.
“He threw a lob,” Russell Westbrook said. “That’s all that happened. Just threw a lob. It’s basically. That’s it.”
All of the oohs and ahhs that everyone wanted were gone. We were back to where we were just three hours before the game. While seeing three former Thunder players on the court together was fun and it’s nice to peek into the history and appreciate former players, the tension was as thick as an Oklahoma morning fog.
The entire weekend was as awkward as it appeared from afar. The Thunder’s proven leader sat on his own end warming up was the bookend of a weird sequence of events. Their locker rooms opposites ends of the locker room. Which was a stark contrast from being right next to each other during their time in Oklahoma City. It started by Kevin Durant and Westbrook avoided questions about one another. Westbrook and Durant were at opposite ends of media day on Saturday after practice. Durant saying he was happy to be there and Westbrook re-directing all questions to the New York Fashion Week.
The venom spewed last week is most likely what we’re going to see. Durant is the enemy. Not because he left. Because he’s on a different team. Durant and Westbrook are competitors and by that account, enemies. Westbrook goes 110 percent at all times and takes nothing from the opponent and that includes Durant.
This was verified a bit by their play in the All-Star game. A pass to one another. A point indicating, I see you or thank you. However, once the game is over, it all went away.
82 seconds of nostalgia for Thunder fans. 82 seconds for narratives to be written. 82 seconds that were relatively anticlimactic when in the grand scheme of things didn’t do anything besides add two points to the West scoreboard.
Will we ever see a reconciliation between the two? Probably. Will it be any time soon? I wouldn’t hold your breath. Expect more lashing out and more “I’m coming!” to be flowing out of the mouth that breathes fire when he’s on the court. However, you won’t hear Westbrook blatantly come out and say it. He does his best to avoid questions.
When pressed about Durant in the postgame a second time, Westbrook did what he did best, re-directed.
“”I’ll see you guys the second half of the season,” Westbrook said.