WASHINGTON — Russell Westbrook is well on his way to averaging a triple-double for the 2016-17 NBA season.
Let’s take a moment to consider how incredible that is.
OK. Now let’s move on to what happened Wednesday night, when he encountered former teammate and co-star Kevin Durant with his new team, the Golden State Warriors. Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder got obliterated once again, losing 121-100 after previously losing to the Warriors by a score of 122-96.
The story of the game wasn’t as much a 25-18 team taking on 35-6 team, though that didn’t hurt. Rather, it was the second time Durant saw his former team, and that seems liable to produce intriguing matchups for years to come. Westbrook and Durant had a bit of a dust-up, if we can call it that, after the final whistle blew, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Before we get to that, let’s take a quick look at the rest of Westbrook’s night.
First, he got absolutely leveled by Warriors center Zaza Pachulia, who then stood over Westbrook menacingly. Pachulia was given a flagrant-one for the play.
After the game, Westbrook had a message for Pachulia that (warning!) came with some harsh language.
For his part, Pachulia didn’t seem too torn up about Westbrook’s potential for injury.
It certainly won’t be awkward when Westbrook, Durant and Pachulia are all teammates in the All-Star Game next month. (It will absolutely be awkward.)
There was also the vicious block Westbrook issued to Draymond Green, who also might make the All-Star Game.
But the absolute gem of the night was when the current favorite for league MVP simply forgot to dribble the basketball.
It happens. But when it happens to Russell Westbrook, a violent dunk all over the league’s top team is what comes next.
The final takeaway from the game was when Durant hit Westbrook with a nasty crossover, then the two players exchanged some words. No report yet on if the words were friendly or not — “not” being the odds-on favorite here — but the fact that the two players didn’t come to blows isn’t a bad thing.
(Worth noting: Steph Curry high-fives himself after Durant passes by without seeing him.)
And finally, it all culminated with Westbrook being caught on camera saying something very rude. The words are believed to be about Durant, but the possibility remains that Pachulia was the subject in this case.
But just to confirm, Westbrook wants it known he and Durant are not on speaking terms, nor does he feel there was any sort of conversation during the game between the two.
Whew. What a day for the mercurial guard, who also happened to put up a cool 27 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists, all team highs, as well as a pair of steals and blocks, though he did commit 10 turnovers and five fouls. All in a day’s work.