Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Nick Collison believes Russell Westbrook did as much as he could to try and convince Kevin Durant to remain with them instead of signing with the Golden State Warriors, according to Lee Jenkins's cover story from this week's Sports Illustrated NBA preview issue.
On July 4, Durant announced that he was leaving Oklahoma City to join the Warriors. He also considered the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers before signing a two-year, $54.3 million contract with Golden State.
But before Durant left the Thunder, his star teammate tried to convince him to stay, according to Nick Collison. From Jenkins's story:
Then OKC power forward Nick Collison, who had been in the private room at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood a week earlier, when Westbrook asked Durant what he could do and how he could change. “He went above and beyond,” Collison says. Westbrook offered to fly to the Hamptons mansion where Durant was holding free-agent pitch meetings.
Westbrook and Durant had been teammates since 2008.
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 Westbrook on The Crossover or in this week's magazine.