The musical summer of Russell Westbrook continues.
His first real comment after Kevin Durant left for the Warriors was a video of him singing “Now I Do What I Want.” He followed that up by rocking out at a Taylor Swift concert to “Bad Blood.” And on Monday, he returned with a two-song pop-star rendition of Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake.”
So just to be clear, Russell Westbrook is either:
- Going through the most teenager break-up anyone has ever experienced
- Deliberately sending a message regarding his feelings for his former teammate, Kevin Durant
- Or just really into the most coincidental songs he could possibly be into.
Here’s the thing. It doesn’t matter if Westbrook is actually talking about Durant, or a personal situation, or if he’s just messing with people, or if he’s just messing around, completely oblivious to any double meanings. We experience these things as sports fans through that prism. Kevin Durant could be the furthest thing from his mind, but that’s the first thing any NBA fan is going to think when they see Westbrook gleefully belting out break-up songs.
This is the best part about Westbrook, though. He doesn’t spell things out. He doesn’t make things clear. His new Jordan commercial could be harmless… or a complete ether of Durant. His only comment about Durant at his presser was similarly vague.
This is what makes a really great feud. You can’t have the two dropping accusations in public like it’s a wrestling feud. It has to be subtle and under the radar and filled with interpretations and innuendo. There have to be stakes — the legacies of multiple Hall of Fame players are impacted here. There has to be history — this fall will be the first time Westbrook has come to training camp with Durant not there. There has to be a clash of personalities — Westbrook is coy, vengeful, aloof, while Durant is open, vulnerable, earnest. And there has to be enough to think that certain public actions reference the feud without openly saying “this is about the feud.”
The Warriors are going for 74 or 76 or 82 wins, LeBron James is trying to repeat and become a four-time champion, the Clippers are facing their last run together and the Knicks might actually not be terrible for once. But the most interesting story in the 2016-17 season will undoubtedly be whatever happens with Russell Westbrook.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / It sure seems like Westbrook is singing breakup songs about Durant