Russell Westbrook: ‘No Beef’ With Kevin Durant Ahead Of Playoff Matchup

rsz usa today 91073390
rsz usa today 91073390

There are plenty of story lines surrounding the first round of the NBA Playoffs, but Russell Westbrook is already putting a damper on one of them.

Starting on Sunday, Westbrook’s Los Angeles Clippers will be taking on the Phoenix Suns in the first round playoff series. It will be the matchup of the 4th and 5th seeds, and will feature two of the most talented teams that the Western Conference has to offer.

Russell Westbrook: ‘No Beef’ With Kevin Durant Ahead Of Playoff Matchup

Each team added a player during the middle of the season that they are hoping helps take them over the top during their respective post season runs, and the two have an extended history with each other.

Possibly the biggest acquisition of the NBA season was Kevin Durant’s move to Phoenix to play for the Suns. It took him a while to get into a rhythm with the team due to injuries keeping him out of the lineup, but the Suns haven’t lost yet when he is on the floor.

As for Russell Westbrook, he changed teams in 2023, but stayed in the same arena. After the experiment with the Lakers didn’t work out, Westbrook is now the starter for the Clippers, and has been playing some of the most efficient basketball of his career despite the small sample size.

Will we see any fireworks between the two sides?

No Issues Between Former Teammates

Their split up was an ugly one. After building a young and exciting team in Oklahoma City, Durant left Westbrook and the Thunder in 2016 in order to chase rings with the Golden State Warriors. This caused contention between the two, and there were legitimate hard feelings coming from both sides.

There was the cupcake post and comments, and there was undeniable tension whenever the two met on the court during those first couple of years. The players who were once dominant teammates now felt like mortal enemies.

But that is all water under the bridge, according to Westbrook. When asked about his relationship with Durant and if there will be any beef or hard feelings left over, he was quick to dispel the notion.

“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.”

Since their break-up, the two have played each other 11 times, with Russell Westbrook having the slight edge with a 6-5 record against Durant.

Game 1 of the first round series between the two teams will take place on Sunday in Phoenix, with Game 2 scheduled for Tuesday evening.

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