Durant, Westbrook say little about All-Star reunion
New Orleans — Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant had plenty to say at their first All-Star appearance.
Just not about one another.
Reunited on the Western Conference All-Star team, the former Oklahoma City teammates — until Durant left for Golden State last summer — will have to practice together today and play together on Sunday.
If either of them expects it to be awkward — particularly after the way they jawed at one another in a recent regular season game — they weren’t discussing it on Friday.
Westbrook smirked and responded to questions about any potential awkward interaction with Durant and or the other Warriors with thoughts on New York City’s Fashion Week.
“Man, you know what? Fashion week has been great. You seen fashion week? You been paying attention to fashion week?” Westbrook responded to a question about Durant. “Man. There’s a lot of great-looking things at fashion week, man. I’m looking forward to new collections. It’s been good, man.”
Two questions later came this gem from Westbrook:
“Man, you see the new public school clothing? Crazy, dog. They got like the new Jordan hoodie. … It’s crazy man. A lot of new, great things at fashion week I’ve seen, man.
“What other designers? Gucci? The new Gucci stuff is dope. Good stuff, man.”
Later came another, more general question about playing with four members of Golden State on the West team, and Westbrook shot back:
“What’s your favorite fashion brand? What you like?”
For his part, Durant used a total of five words to respond to his first question about the opportunity to play with Westbrook again:
“I’m excited to be here.”
Later, Durant said more directly, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
At other times, Durant became philosophical, minimizing the significance of contract talks, trades or when stars change teams.
“It’s not real-life problems,” Durant said. “Stuff you guys may think is important, I don’t really think is important at all, so when I look at it that way, it’s pretty easy to me.”
Magic forward Aaron Gordon is not giving any hints on what he’ll do for an All-Star dunk contest encore.
He just hopes it’s enough this time around.
The runner-up in last year’s All-Star contest, Gordon is likely considered the favorite tonight.
Officers with the National Basketball Players Association said the problems between Charles Oakley and Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan could impact decisions future free agents make about playing for the Knicks.
Oakley was removed from MSG earlier this month, pulled away by security guards, handcuffed, arrested and eventually banned from entering the arena . That ban has since been lifted.
“I think it’s kind of a personal thing,” said NBPA vice president Anthony Tolliver of the Kings, a former Piston. “I think some guys, for sure, notice it and some of those guys have made it known that it will affect them. Other guys, maybe not.”
Added NBPA secretary-treasurer James Jones of the Cavaliers: “It’s kind of self-evident.”
... Cleveland’s LeBron James and New York’s Carmelo Anthony did not attend NBA All-Star media day events. The NBA said James had a family matter to deal with. Anthony was permitted to miss the session because he was not added to the roster until Wednesday.