Durant, Westbrook Rivalry Emerging Early in New Season

By Matt Bagdat,
Sports Business Editor
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The 2016-17 NBA season is just about two weeks in, and the league has already been fueled by a number of different storylines. However, arguably the biggest news of the offseason was the free-agency of superstar forward Kevin Durant. Durant had spent the last nine seasons of his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder, winning four scoring titles and an MVP award in that time frame. He and Russell Westbrook had formed one of the most formidable duos in the entire league, and were in the running for a title year after year. Their closest run came in 2012, when they lost to LeBron James’ Miami Heat four games to one. Despite their success, there had been many questions about the chemistry between the two stars, and these questions continued during Durant’s free-agency.

In the offseason, Durant made the highly-scrutinized move to the Western Conference Champion Golden State Warriors. Joining the likes of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson, Durant helped turn a contending team into the league’s most hated overnight. With the addition of Durant, the starting lineup boasts four all-stars and two Most Valuable Player awards. Despite losing to the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, the Warriors have been the most intriguing team to watch thus far.

Durant and his former team, the Thunder, met on Thursday, November 3rd in a highly-anticipated matchup. Despite losing his star teammate, Russell Westbrook had led Thunder to a 4-0 record coming into the game, making an early case for MVP honors. He and his former teammate had not spoken since July 4th. Despite the recent success of the Thunder, the Warriors ended up winning the matchup by a score of 122 to 96, behind the 36 points of Kevin Durant.

While these teams have been competing against each other for the last couple of seasons it will be interesting to see how things play out as Durant is now on the other side of the battle. Expect many good matchups to come between these two teams.

 

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 8th print edition.

Contact Matt at
matthew.bagdat@student.shu.edu

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