The Oklahoma City Thunder place a high value on players’ ability to “fit in” – and it’s clear Russell Westbrook no longer does. If he doesn’t fit emotionally, he’ll be a bad fit financially. One way or another, he can’t be a part of their long-term planning.
Westbrook and Kevin Durant got into a shouting match during a timeout in the Thunder’s victory at Memphis Wednesday night. As detailed by The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry, Westbrook was yelling at Thabo Sefolosha for passing up an open shot and when Durant tried to calm him down, Westbrook snapped at Durant. Back on the court, Durant patted Westbrook on the head and they appeared to coexist the rest of the game.
A Thunder source said the altercation amounted to “nothing at all” and a source close to Durant said, “I don’t think it’s that big a deal.”
But Westbrook couldn’t get over it enough to make a shot Wednesday, finishing 0-for-13 from the field. And it isn’t the first time he and Durant have clashed. The Thunder can’t afford to bet it will be the last. Even Durant’s ally qualified his downplaying of the situation by saying Durant and Westbrook were fine “right now.” He couldn’t guarantee they’ll stay that way.