Michael Jordan referenced Kevin Durant’s departure from the Thunder by praising Russell Westbrook for staying loyal to OKC.
Russell Westbrook’s arrival in Oklahoma in 2008 ushered in a new age for the newly formed Oklahoma City Thunder, as it was clear from the get-go that Kevin Durant and the former UCLA Bruin would prove to be a devastating duo in the long run. They lived up to this ‘prophecy’ for the most part as they made a trip to the Finals together, along with being a game away from the Finals, until ultimately blowing a 3-1 lead in the WCF.
This blown 3-1 lead to Steph Curry and the Warriors would mark the end of the KD-Russ duo in OKC as the former did the unthinkable and joined the Warriors in the 2016 offseason. This left Russell Westbrook alone on the Thunder as its lone superstar in the 2016-17 season.
2016 wasn’t all too bad for Brodie however as not only did it mean he could do what he wanted (according to his Jordan commercial), but he was also inducted into the Oklahoma Hall-of-Fame this same year. None other than Michael Jordan was the one who presented him with this honor.
Michael Jordan took shots at Kevin Durant during Russell Westbrook’s HoF induction in 2016.
It seems as though Michael Jordan has a knack for giving out memorable speeches. His most iconic one would have to be his own 2009 Hall-of-Fame speech where he didn’t hold back on anything and also provided us with the now immortalized, ‘Crying Jordan’ meme. His speech at Kobe Bryant’s memorial was as impactful and heartwarming as one could imagine.
However, his monologue at Russell Westbrook Oklahoma Hall-of-Fame was one to remember. “I think another thing that you guys should be proud about is a sense of loyalty that this kid has shown to Oklahoma. He could’ve come to Charlotte but he decided to stay here.”
“I’m not trying to bash anyone that’s not here. Everybody has a choice; I’m not saying you don’t. When I saw that he chose to stay here in Oklahoma, I was so proud. You guys have a very, very special kid.”
Though Jordan didn’t say outright that Kevn Durant’s departure was a lack of loyalty on his part, he didn’t have to as it was understood. It’s no surprise that Michael Jordan’s loyalty is towards Russell Westbrook as the 2017 MVP has been a Jordan athlete for many years, solidifying his relationship with the ‘GOAT’.