KD-Russ Hype Overblown?

Sports Illustrated

Is Durant vs. Westbrook an NBA Rivalry?

If you happen to work for ESPN or are obsessed with everything ESPN, you may want to look away.

Turned around yet? Good.

Kevin Durant vs. Russell Westbrook is not an NBA rivalry.

I’m sorry. The media is lying to you. The Oklahoma City Thunder played the Golden State Warriors on three separate occasions this season, and for three separate weeks all you have heard on your weekly preferred sports talk show is how much Westbrook hates Durant, or how intense this “rivalry” is, or what Russell Westbrook will do to Zaza Pachulia.

Well, since joining the Warriors, Kevin Durant has led his new team to three wins over his former squad. Game one ended with a score of 122-96. Game two was much of the same as the Warriors blew out the Thunder again by a score of 121-100. Lastly on February 11, the Warriors came into Oklahoma City and once again destroyed their “rivals”.

Final score? 130-114.

In three games, the Warriors have outscored the Thunder by a combined 63-points.

Tell me again why this is a rivalry?

No close finishes, no real competition, and just one huge hype machine built on one dude choosing to move teams in free agency. Fact is, the Warriors are head and shoulders above every single team in the league except for maybe the Cleveland Cavaliers. Maybe the San Antonio Spurs? Yes, no, maybe?

The Oklahoma City Thunder are a team that lacks talent, and outside of Westbrook, lack any playmakers. When Klay Thompson’s matched up with Andre Roberson and Draymond Green is matched up with Domantas Sabonis, yeah, there isn’t much of a rivalry.

The talent discrepancy is far to big for there to be any rivalry at this point.

Sorry ESPN, but you cannot trick everyone.


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