Durant Departure Will Test Westbrook, and OKC’s Belief in His Leadership

July 6th, 2016 by Kevin Ding Leave a reply »

Cocky. Jerk. Hothead.

If we could just boil down the guy left behind, Russell Westbrook, to be a one-dimensional character, it'd be a lot easier to finish this story about Kevin Durant leaving Oklahoma City.

There's some part of all of us that likes it basic—when accentuating the positive, too. The main reason Westbrook's devoted admirers revere him is that incredible passion.

"Force of nature," Thunder general manager Sam Presti said Monday in describing Westbrook during a what-do-we-do-now news conference that matters a lot less than what Westbrook wants to do in the future.

There's a natural tendency to assume he'll be so angry about being left behind that he'll leave town via his own free agency next year.

That car wreck sure would make for a heck of a high-speed sequel to this Durant turnabout. In sports we only put up with hotheads if they are champions. It's tempting to imagine just how much uncontrollable rage the ferocious, eight-cylinder Westbrook might be revving up at this very moment.

Oversimplify at your own risk, however.   

There have been dist ...

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