U.S. Markets close in 1 hr 34 mins

Kevin Durant blames himself for beef with Russell Westbrook

After a year of tension, the relationship between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook is back in a good place. (Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images)

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are on speaking terms. And compared to the status of their relationship at last year’s All-Star Game, that’s a huge change in a positive direction.

The former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates will be All-Star teammates for the second year in a row, this time on Team LeBron on Sunday in Los Angeles. The tension between the two was palpable last year in New Orleans after Durant left OKC for the Golden State Warriors in free agency.

It might be a stretch to call the two friends as things currently stand, but this photo alone is proof the tension has lessened.


Durant was asked Saturday how the two were able to smooth things out. He was pretty candid.

“I just got out of my own head and got out of my own way and stopped thinking it was even a thing,” Durant said, referring to the beef between the two. “I feel like I just made it a thing when it shouldn’t have been. It’s cool to kind of get past that and just appreciate these guys for who they are and what they do. And it’s all love at the end of the day.”

Durant was also quick to praise Westbrook when asked about his favorite dunk, even if he didn’t mention him by name.


“This 6-3 guy I used to play with a couple years ago, his athleticism was off the charts. I used to see him do normal dunks every day and now when I see dunks it’s just not as good as his,” Durant said. “So he’s an athletic guy, I think he plays in OKC. I threw him a lob one game and he was over top of the backboard. After that one, nobody else can compare.”

Westbrook offered a similar sentiment, though in a less effusive manner.


“It’s been fine. It’s been normal,” Westbrook said of being around Durant. “Communicating, and that’s about it, you know? All the other stuff is kind of irrelevant. Just keeping it cool, talking when we need to, and just moving forward.”

Hey, that’s better than a could shoulder, right?

– – – – – – –

Sam Cooper is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

More NBA coverage from Yahoo Sports:
‘Starstruck’ rookie pulls upset in NBA Dunk Contest
Report: Knicks coach Hornacek shoved Joakim Noah during argument
NBA star throws down heroic ‘Black Panther’ dunk
LeBron to Fox News: ‘Thank you, whatever her name is’