Kevin Durant lists his five best teammates, and initial omission of Russell Westbrook paints a fishy picture

by Ryan

I want you to imagine a scenario real quick. Kyle Lowry is on a podcast, and amid conversation, he’s asked to name the top five teammates of his career. This is on video, by the way. You can see him carefully considering, answering slowly, devoting what appears to be honest thought to his answer. He produces five names. None of which are DeMar DeRozan. When asked about this rather conspicuous omission, Lowry claims to have innocently forgotten about DeRozan, to whom he is inextricably linked after a six-year partnership in Toronto. 

For one second, would you believe Lowry just “forgot” to mention DeRozan? If you asked John Wall to talk about the five best teammates of his career, is there any planet on which he would “forget” to mention Bradley Beal? If you asked LeBron James to name his five best teammates and he didn’t include Kyrie Irving, you wouldn’t believe it for a second. That would be a one-hundred-percent calculated omission. 

So here we are with Kevin Durant, who in a recent appearance on the “MILLION $ WORTH OF GAME” podcast was asked to list the top five teammates of his career. In order, and again, after visibly careful consideration, he offered current Nets teammates Kyrie Irving and James Harden, former Warriors teammates Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, and former OKC cohort Serge Ibaka

You will notice one name missing. Russell Westbrook

Now before you go ranting about how I’m taking this out of context, conveniently ignoring the second half of Durant’s answer, let me state for the record that, yes, I am aware that Durant eventually spiked Ibaka to include Westbrook on his list after a series of “are you kidding me?” looks from the podcast host triggered his apparently malfunctioning memory. 

“I forgot about somebody?” Durant said. 

I actually can’t write this without laughing a little. I forgot about somebody? Come on, dude. We’re not talking about some 10-day contract guy that Durant shared a locker room with for a few weeks. This is a guy to whom Durant was tied for seven years, whom Durant called his “favorite teammate in the world” at the 2014 ESPY’s, 

And again, it’s not like he rattled this list off the top of his head. Watch the video below. Does this look like a guy not carefully considering his answers?

So a couple of things here. First, the fact that Durant listed Kyrie and Harden before Curry suggests a baseline level of consciousness. He had enough smarts not to diss his current teammates. So there was some thought that went into this. Second, perhaps a case could be made that Durant was quickly scanning over his most recent teammates in his head, which were Warriors and Nets guys, but conjuring up Ibaka draws a thought line back to Oklahoma City. 

How is it possible that Durant devotes honest, basically twisting-his-mustache thought to his OKC tenure and Westbrook doesn’t even register on the radar? Like, who else besides Ibaka ran through his mind? Was he considering throwing a bone to Kendrick Perkins? It is almost impossible to believe that Durant honestly didn’t even think about his most closely associated teammate in such an inviting context. 

But, just for the sake of argument, let’s say Durant actually did just forget he ever played with Westbrook. Isn’t that even more of a slight? This was your wingman, your co-star for three conference finals runs and an NBA Finals. This is the other half of the public divorce that played out for years. And he doesn’t even register on your radar? 

I don’t know, man. This is some fishy stuff. I admit this is an absolutely stupid debate to be having, and thus, a stupid article to be writing. Who cares about some dumb list revealed on some random podcast? But I can’t help it. This is just unbelievable to me that Kevin Durant would just honestly forget he played basketball with Russell Westbrook for seven seasons. I don’t know what it says, but it says something. 

But hey, at least Durant corrected himself and put Westbrook on the list. Except, he got that wrong, too. Klay Thompson is better than Westbrook, who, for the record, should be No. 5.

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