Russell Westbrook learned about Kevin Durant leaving while playing dominoes
Russell Westbrook was playing dominoes when Kevin Durant posted his first-person piece announcing his signing with the Golden State Warriors, the Oklahoma City Thunder star told Lee Jenkins in this week's Sports Illustrated cover story.
Westbrook and Durant were teammates since 2008. Westbrook talked to Durant before he made his decision to sign with Golden State and asked what they could change, if he decided to stay with the Thunder.
But when Westbrook found out Durant was leaving, he was playing dominoes.
From this week's issue of Sports Illustrated:
After the milquetoast essay and the token text, Russell Westbrook played dominoes. He had started the game early that July 4 morning, as friends and family filled his sunny backyard for a housewarming party, and he did not stop when his phone throbbed with the news he dreaded. A union that spanned eight seasons in Oklahoma City, producing everything but a championship, was over. The goodbye text, which landed in Westbrook’s phone a couple of minutes after the first-person essay appeared online, mentioned a desire for a new journey. Kevin Durant was, of all things, a Warrior. “The team that just beat us,” Westbrook muttered over dominoes.
Despite Durant's departure, Westbrook remained confident in the Thunder.
“This is professional sports,” Westbrook sniffs. “You have to live with it. I just continued about my day.” As the afternoon wore on, and more dominoes were played, Beverly turned the topic to Oklahoma City and the franchise left behind. “I like my team,” Westbrook told him. “I still really like my team.”
The Warriors will host the Thunder on Nov. 3 and Jan. 18 at Oracle Arena. Durant will pay a visit to Oklahoma City for road games on Feb. 11 and March 20.
Read SI's full story on Russell Westbrook on The Crossover.