Breakups are almost always ugly, and that rings true in the NBA, too. One of the more well-documented NBA divorces happened over the summer, when Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City — and his co-star Russell Westbrook — for the Golden State Warriors, the same team that eliminated the Thunder in the playoffs.
First try! Russell Westbrook warms up on Christmas Day. RT to #NBAVote for Russ for #AllStar. pic.twitter.com/5bqpbzkaQX— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) December 25, 2016
After Westbrook knocks down a deep corner three, he darts off to the locker room before screaming what sounds like “Thank you, Kyrie.” If that interpretation of his comment holds true, Westbrook was referring to the same Kyrie Irving who drilled a game-winner over Klay Thompson in Cleveland’s NBA Finals rematch against the Warriors on Christmas.
Westbrook denies saying anything of the sort, however, claiming he was talking to his trainer’s daughter named Jayme. Upon re-listening, an argument can be made for both sides.
Russell Westbrook comments on the video of him screaming in the tunnel. (Some NSFW language here): pic.twitter.com/vcp6fdfoCU— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) December 25, 2016
Listen again, and you decide.
Westbrook signed an extension to stay in Oklahoma City and, well, the relationship between the two just hasn’t been the same. The Thunder’s MVP candidate has made that clear all season long. ESPN.com’s resident detective and reporter, Royce Young, may have gotten to the bottom of this mystery.
In the video, Thunder trainer Joe Sharpe's daughter Jayme, who Westbrook says he yelled thank you to, is standing on the baseline.— Royce Young (@royceyoung) December 26, 2016
Also: Westbrook finished his pregame warmup today right at 4pm CT. Warriors-Cavs didn't end until 4:15. So unless Russ can see the future...— Royce Young (@royceyoung) December 26, 2016
Maybe Westbrook’s reaction to Fred Katz’s question is believable after all.