NBA Notebook: Paul George Says Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook Are ‘Buddies’ Again

By services, Combined wire | New Haven Register (New Haven, CT), July 15, 2017 | Go to article overview

NBA Notebook: Paul George Says Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook Are ‘Buddies’ Again


services, Combined wire, New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)


Kevin Durant’s move from the Thunder to the Warriors may have gotten him Finals MVP honors and a long-awaited championship ring, but it cost him a long-standing friendship with Russell Westbrook. At least, it did for a while, but following some indications that their relationship was improving, we recently got confirmation that the former all-star teammates are “buddies” again.

That news came from none other than Westbrook’s new all-star teammate, Paul George. The former Pacer, traded two weeks ago to Oklahoma City, told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via The Oklahoman), “Whatever went between [Durant] and Russ, that’s their business. It’s not my point to want to know or want to figure out what happened. It’s pointless.

“They are buddies, they are back good again. I’m here to build something different and something special.”

At first, Westbrook had reportedly been “angry and hurt” that Durant not only left their eight-year partnership in OKC for Golden State, but that the 2014 NBA MVP didn’t even call to inform Westbrook directly of his decision. In the weeks that followed, Durant said their “relationship probably won’t ever be the same again” and described it as “a touchy deal.”

In October, after being told that Durant had praised his new teammates as “together” and “selfless,” Westbrook said, “That’s cute. ... We’re going to worry about all of the selfish guys we got over here, apparently.” Westbrook reportedly didn’t speak in person with Durant until a terse exchange during a Warriors-Thunder game in January, in the teams’ second meeting of the season.

In a way, though, Durant’s departure worked out well for both players, as Westbrook’s record-breaking usage rate helped him set a single-season record for triple-doubles and earn his first NBA MVP award. In May, Kendrick Perkins, who played with both in OKC, said that the night Westbrook broke Oscar Robertson’s 55-year-old mark, he spoke with Durant about reopening lines of communication.

Rondo to Pelicans

A person with knowledge of the situation of tells The Associated Press that the New Orleans have agreed in principle on a one-year deal with Rajon Rondo.

The person says Rondo is expected to sign his contract next week and the terms are still being finalized. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement has not been made. …

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