Blogtable Archive

Blogtable: Will Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant patch things up at All-Star weekend?

Each week, we ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day.

* * *

Assuming they’re All-Star teammates next month in New Orleans, do you see Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant re-connecting and patching things up?

* * *

Steve Aschburner: I wish they would do it in advance of All-Star Weekend, just to avoid having it dominate the weekend’s media coverage in a dumb, gossipy, high-schoolish way. It will mean silliness on Friday at the interview sessions and it will bleed over to Saturday and Sunday in coverage of the weekend’s events. Yet the only patching-up — or not — that truly would matter would come between those two men. We could witness or be told about either a continued grudge or an alleged thawing, but there’d really be no trusting it, given the public clamor for a resolution in a weekend’s time. So no, I don’t see it happening in New Orleans, not really.

Fran Blinebury: Perhaps in a perfunctory manner. But it’s that extra bit of attitude that is driving Westbrook toward history.

Scott Howard-Cooper: Not next month, not next season. Maybe over the years, though. It’s too soon. And maybe they were always more work acquaintances than friends anyway. Perhaps we are asking for something that didn’t exist in the first place.

Shaun Powell: If I’m Kevin Durant, I tell Russell Westbrook to spare me any pleasantries. Westbrook had that chance at least on two occasions this season and behaved like a spoiled and petty teenager. KD gave Russ some of the best years of his career. KD defended Russ when Mark Cuban said Russ wasn’t a franchise player. KD praised Russ when he won the MVP trophy. This is all on Russ, not KD, who should get the message and keep his distance.

John Schuhmann: I’m not inside either of those guys’ heads, so I won’t speculate. But from what I’ve seen, All-Star weekend is short enough (as opposed to a summer with the national team) that there’s no need for a couple of rivals to get chummy if they don’t want to, even if they’re in the same locker room on Sunday.

Sekou Smith: I am definitely making that assumption, that the Western Conference coaches will get right what we (the media), players and fans could not in getting Westbrook into the starting lineup in New Orleans. As for a thawing of the cold war between KD and Russ, I don’t see it happening. Neither seems particularly interested in hugging it out right now. And I don’t expect that to change in the next month. There’s too much pride and competitiveness involved for both parties. They could also see each other in the first round of the playoffs down the road, so there’s no reason to make nice anytime soon. I’m hopeful that these guys will patch things up in the future, I just don’t expect it to happen anytime soon.

Ian Thomsen: Why would they? Westbrook is on a mission to prove he can win on his own, and Durant simply has to win — nothing less than the championship will matter. Each is so self-absorbed with making the best of his own circumstance that it would be out of character for either one to dwell on their broken relationship.

Lang Whitaker: At some point down the road, I believe their relationship will normalize, although I wouldn’t be shocked if it takes some time. After all, Westbrook is in the midst of playing an awesome brand of me-against-the-world basketball, while Durant is trying to assimilate with his new squad in Golden State. So I don’t expect KD and Russ to sneak off and play video games together in N’Awlins or anything like that. They’re professionals and they’ll play together, and we’ll probably get an alley-oop from one to the other, or some other hint of the way things used to be. But I’m not expecting a full-fledged reunion anytime soon.

MORE BLOGTABLE: Who does LeBron want Cavs to add? | Biggest surprise at season’s halfway point is …?