Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were an imposing duo during their time together. While they only played together for 8 years in Oklahoma City, KD and Russ were one of the best tandems in the league and were inches away from bringing championship glory to the franchise.
Both Russ and KD joined the franchise one year apart, with Durant coming in 2007 and Westbrook in 2008. Within just 4 years of joining forces, they led the Oklahoma City Thunder to the NBA Finals at a very young age and even got a win against the Miami Heat.
While they were not able to conquer the more experienced Heat team, the future was bright for OKC. Despite the departure of James Harden that year, KD and Westbrook kept the Thunder afloat in the West, and they were regular contenders for the NBA championship.
In 2014, Durant won NBA MVP and even thanked Westbrook in his speech. Their last run together could have been incredible, as the Thunder reached the Western Conference Finals, and took a 3-1 lead over the Golden State Warriors.
But they proceeded to blow that lead, and KD and Russ both had terrible performances in Game 6, where they turned the ball over several times and cost the Thunder a trip to the Finals. After the series, their relationship changed forever, as Durant joined the Golden State Warriors in the offseason.
The duo hasn't been the same since, and have even jawed off at each other when they played against each other. While their relationship has gotten better now, their friendship isn't what it used to be.
They had a strong bond off the court, and Durant would even defend Russ against criticism. And he did just that when Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban suggested that Westbrook wasn't a superstar, calling Cuban an idiot (2nd slide).
Clearly, KD had Westbrook's back and even told him not to respond before he took aim at Cuban. There was a genuine brotherhood between the two. Perhaps when their careers are over, the two will have a sit-down conversation and mend fences.
Currently, they will be gunning for each other, as both players are on championship contenders. Durant is hoping to lead the Nets to the chip, and Westbrook wants to do the same for the Lakers.