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Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant have altercation on bench

Dec 29, 2011, 1:29 AM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Six Getty Images

Be careful about reading too much into this — good teams with competitive players have fights on the sideline.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook had one of those during the second quarter of the team’s victory over the Memphis Grizzlies Tuesday and had to be separated by teammates, according to the Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry.

Westbrook’s frustration appeared to have started with just 3 1/2 minutes remaining in the second quarter when he drove into the paint and kicked the ball out to Thabo Sefolosha in the corner. Sefolosha passed up a wide open 3-pointer, which prompted Westbrook to yell at Sefolosha “shoot the (expletive) ball.”

Sefolosha and other teammates, including Durant and center Kendrick Perkins attempted to calm Westbrook down immediately during an ensuing trip to the free throw line. But the emotions spilled over to the bench one minute later.

Durant appeared to again settle Westbrook, but Westbrook appeared to take exception to how Durant delivered his message. The two began shouting at each other and had to be separated.

That all happened off camera, but during the rest of the game the two seemed to have no problem on the court.

Westbrook was likely frustrated in part because of his play — he ended the night 0-for-13 shooting from the field and was generally not his effective self. He did not speak to the media after the game.

Durant did talk to the media and downplayed the incident. Here is his quote, via Royce Young of Eye on Basketball.

“We’re going to disagree sometimes, like I’ve always been saying,” Durant said after the game. “But I’m behind him 110 percent, and he’s the same way with me. And you seen when we came on the floor we clicked and everything started to work from there.”

It happens, and with the win the two likely will shake hands and move on. But there remains an undercurrent of tension between the two stars of this team that comes out in stressful times, and we have questions about Westbrook’s maturation as a player and a star on this team. As a leader. Durant leads by example, Westbrook seems to get frustrated and lose it sometimes. Not a huge issue, but something to monitor for Thunder fans and front office types.

  1. yunghawg - Dec 29, 2011 at 1:38 AM

    FYI, these two play for the Thunder. Hornets fans and management prolly not that concerned.

  2. thatboi901 - Dec 29, 2011 at 1:46 AM

    Shaq-Kobe part 2.

  3. jedicurt - Dec 29, 2011 at 2:04 AM

    what in the world should this concern Hornet fans and management????????? did you not proofread this story before posting it…. also, the dailythunder has a much better write up about all of it. so head over there if you are a “Hornets” fan who is worried about this

  4. texanfan17 - Dec 29, 2011 at 2:09 AM

    Ur probably right..the people in new orleans are probably losing sleep over okc’s problem!

  5. jjacks1122 - Dec 29, 2011 at 3:15 AM

    Can’t read too much into what happens in the heat of the moment of a game. 0-13 nights are frustrating for sure. But Westbrook should look no further than Marbury’s post Timberwolves career to see playing Robin isn’t half bad.

    • njsteeler - Dec 29, 2011 at 8:19 AM

      Cosign on the Marbury comment. 0-13? At what point do you say “It’s not my night”, and stop jacking them up? And the shooter must shoot themselves out of a slump theory doesn’t apply here. He can’t shoot!

  6. jimothyvonstojavic - Dec 29, 2011 at 5:28 AM

    It’s no big deal. I just wish the writer would stop saying the two. Way too repedative.

  7. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 29, 2011 at 8:44 AM

    I enjoy busting Kurt’s stones as much as anybody, but Jesus Christ guys, enough with the nitpicks about minor little typos. Everybody hates the spelling/grammar police.

    • southbeachtalent - Dec 29, 2011 at 9:25 AM

      agree 100%, these grammar cops are annoying as all hell.

      GET A LIFE!

    • kinggw - Dec 29, 2011 at 3:22 PM

      Is it too much to ask that the author proofread his work before submitting? Are we so devoid of standards that we harp on the people who are catching the mistakes the author should have caught in the first place?

      • okcallday - Dec 30, 2011 at 12:51 PM

        completely agree kinggw. he’s getting paid to write about this…a little proof reading wouldn’t be remiss. would you want a chef to make a delicious meal for you and then just throw it on the plate in a pile?

  8. acdc363 - Dec 29, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    Can’t find a video of this

    • bigmeechy74 - Dec 29, 2011 at 10:22 AM

      It says in the article that it happened off camera.

  9. therealhtj - Dec 29, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    Well I guess this’ll make Sam Presti look that much better when deciding they can’t afford two max contracts.

  10. kyleortonsarm - Dec 29, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    Well what do you know. Russell Westbrook, the over-rated, under-educated, over compensating retard has an attitude problem. They should cut this turd before he drags the entire team down with his weak ball skills and bad shooting. He’s going to wash out of the NBA in three years, max.

  11. harango - Dec 29, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    I trule admire how Durant carries himself and is a shining example of how these multi millionaires should act on and off the court. Westbrook as a loose cannon and needs to be dealt with. Does he not understand that he is NOT the star of this team? When you watch him play, he acts like the team revolves around him and everyone else should fall in order. As kyleortonsarm said, Westbrook is under-educated and maybe a little over-rated at this point in his career. I don’t remember watching the NBA back when Jordan played and seeing players curse at teammates for not taking a shot or making mistakes….The NBA better deal with Westbrook and his attitude ASAP before he starts making the NBA look like a game for thugs!

    • slopmcflop - Dec 29, 2011 at 12:27 PM

      “I don’t remember watching the NBA back when Jordan played and seeing players curse at teammates for not taking a shot or making mistakes…”

      I like how you use Jordan as an example of when the league was so called “lollypops and sunshine farts”. Jordan was one of the most vocal when it came to calling out his teammates! He was the greatest and he expected greatness around him. And he didn’t exactly water down his comments, he was plenty profane. Frustration isn’t some new post lockout, Westbrook, exclusive. Happens all the time. It’s part of the game. You may not remember it happening because it usually blows over by the next tip-off.

    • fittytuckin - Dec 29, 2011 at 12:33 PM

      allen iverson 2.0

      • njsteeler - Dec 29, 2011 at 2:24 PM

        fitty, that’s an insult to Allen Iverson. League MVP, and took a horrible 76ers team to the Finals. Westbrook can’t carry AI’s jock!!!!

    • kinggw - Dec 29, 2011 at 3:42 PM

      Funny, Westbrook has the same amount of education as Durant. Westbrook isnt a loose cannon and I dont think he plays selfish. He is what the Thunder need him to be. The problem is casual fans who only watch basketball during playoffs have heard this narrative from haters like Jon Barry that Westbrook is selfish and he was why the Thunder lost.

      The reality is that the Thunder arent nearly the team without Westbrook that they are with him. People forget that Westbrook was a two guard three years ago and he has already become one of the most dynamic point guards in the NBA in a relatively short time. So if he makes a few mistakes and has a bad shooting night, relax. He is still far ahead of the curve.

  12. jjacks1122 - Dec 29, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    Que the Rondo for Westbrook rumors!

  13. slipperyjohnson - Dec 29, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Good lord Westbrook is an immature baby…..smh

  14. africanballer - Dec 30, 2011 at 5:02 AM

    when you go 0 for 13 you’re not suppose to yell at anyone for whatever reason

  15. scoregasmic - Dec 30, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    I swear if one more person acts like a snob about a proofreading I’m gonna lose it, get over yourselves everyone makes mistakes

  16. scoregasmic - Dec 31, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    If it tasted good why not?

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