Kevin Durant says bond with Russell Westbrook 'won't ever be the same'

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

New Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant admitted Wednesday that his relationship with former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Russell Westbrook likely "won't ever be the same again" and that he'll just have to get used to being the villain.

Durant told China's Sina Sports that he talked to Westbrook before signing a two-year deal earlier this month to join a loaded Warriors rosterthat also boasts two-time reigning MVP Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

"I just told him. I let him know how I felt," Durant said of his conversation with Westbrook. "Obviously, our relationship won't ever be the same again. But it's something I wanted to do, and I expressed that to him. Hopefully he respected it."

He also told Sina Sports that he'll get used to the backlash and the Warriors being labeled as "villains."

"Yeah, it's difficult. I'm not used to this much attention, but I'm getting used to it," Durant said. "Obviously, people don't like me right now, but it is what it is. I can't please them all. I've got to still go out there and handle my business.

"They're not going to get up at 9 o'clock in the morning and work on their game for me. I've got to do all of that on my own. I can't worry about people on the outside. I've got to go to sleep at night, I've got to get up and I've got to perform. I've got to do all that stuff. It is what it is. Once we start playing the games, I'll feel a little bit more better. Right now, it's definitely a change. There's a different vibe going around, but I'll get used to it."

NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday said he didn't think Durant's decision to join the Warriors and form a so-called super team was "ideal from the league standpoint."

But Durant said the goal -- a championship -- is what drove him to join the Warriors, and he doesn't think an excess of talent will be a problem in achieving that goal.

"I want to win a championship, but you've got to play great basketball to win a championship," Durant told Sina Sports. "Those guys were so close last year, so they're hungry this year to get back. I want to help them. I want to be the guy that takes them over the top.

"We don't have any selfish players on the team. That's the thing: I think everybody expects us to play selfish, but guys want to go out there and win and just play the right way. That's what they've been doing. It's on me to come in there and adapt to what they've been doing. It's going to take me some time, but I'm going to get used to it pretty quick."

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