Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant were teammates with the Thunder for eight seasons. Heading into the Clippers’ first round series against Durant and the Suns, Westbrook addressed the notion that they have a strained relationship, suggesting that’s a false assumption, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.
“I think people still think like there’s some beef or something. There’s no beef of any [kind], so I think that’s the good narrative for media, for people to talk about,” Westbrook said. “But there’s no beef. I got nothing but respect for him and things he’s done with his career and having to see him back from injury. There’s no beef at all. But he knows I’m going to compete and I know he’s going to compete and that’s all it is.”
We have more from the Pacific Division:
- On a similar topic, Clippers guard Bones Hyland said he has no issues with teammate Mason Plumlee in the aftermath of their dustup on Sunday, Andrew Greif of the Los Angeles Times writes. “Me and him talked on the plane. It’s nothing. It’s quashed,” Hyland said. “People create their own narratives of what’s going on, but me and Mason know what’s going on, the team knows what’s going on. We deaded it literally in Phoenix. It’s nothing to worry about. We’re focused on Phoenix right now and trying to win the series.”
- Durant played 41 minutes against Denver last week and says he expects to log a similar workload throughout the playoffs, according to Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. “Forty is the number I love,” the Suns‘ star said. “I like hovering around that number.”
- In a wide-ranging interview with Andscape’s Marc Spears, Kings owner Vivek Ranadive said the blockbuster trade with Indiana last season involving Tyrese Haliburton and Domantas Sabonis worked to the benefit of both organizations. “If we didn’t have Tyrese, we couldn’t have gotten Domantas. It ended up being a win-win trade for everybody,” he said. “It’s one of those rare trades where it created three All-Stars. And so, Tyrese was an All-Star. De’Aaron (Fox) an All-Star. Domas an All-Star. So, it took a lot of courage on the part of my front office to pull the trigger and make that trade, but I applauded them for doing that.”