With Kevin Durant's Oklahoma City homecoming behind him, there's one big question for the Warriors forward and his former teammate Russell Westbrook: Just how much will they play together in Sunday's NBA All-Star Game?
NICK: "My question is, will they be on the court together? Like, are we totally confident that Durant's not — that when Kerr asks Durant, 'How do you want to do this?' that Durant's response isn't going to be, 'Keep us out of the game'? Like, when I'm on, he's off, when he's on, I'm off. We don't need to share minutes.
"Because you're right. I love Russ. He's my second-most enjoyed player to watch in the league. But Russ is petty. Russ, since Durant has left: Instagram cupcakes, the day he left. He did an ad with Nike, kind of went under the radar, where he dunks and the voiceover goes, 'Some run, some make runways.' That's at KD.
"He threw shade at Durant's quote, he said, 'We'll worry about our selfish guys over here.' He did the 'Now I Do What I Want' commercial. He wore the photographer outfit. He shoved Durant at midcourt just a couple days ago."
Nick: What if KD asks Kerr for a favor?
NICK: "Are we sure Durant wants those potential problems? And if Durant said — again, this is just pure speculation, I'm admitting that, not reporting anything — if Kerr were to ask Durant, 'How do you want me to handle this?'
"And Durant were to say, 'I just don't want to play with him. We're not dealing with that on national television in front of everybody. What do I do if he whips the ball at my head?' Don't you think Kerr would respect that?"
Cris: Durant is bigger than that
CRIS: "I think Durant is way above that, though. And I think that he has such a basketball gift, we're missing this. He's having an unbelievable season. He's taking less shots. He's shooting the highest percentage.
"Yes, Russ might be petty, but man, this is clearly one of the greatest basketball players that I've ever seen. And we've had other stuff in the All-Star Game — Michael Jordan, Isiah Thomas, things like that — so it's not the first time, and I know Kerr realizes that.
"The game is bigger than the players. And even though it's the All-Star Game, people are coming there to see basketball. And I believe Kevin Durant, the type of person he is, the type of integrity that he has, I believe that he's above that.
"And I believe he'll play on the court during All-Star week with anyone. So I don't think he's going to tell Steve Kerr, 'No, I don't want to play with Russ.'"
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Nick: Durant saying, 'Nah' to Westbrook would make sense
NICK: "For a guy who seems conflict-averse, for a guy who didn't want to make the phone call, for a guy who hasn't dealt with this head-on — and I get it, some people, passivity is their way, and he's not passive on the basketball court, that's for damn sure, he's unbelievable.
"When that seems to be his M.O., it just wouldn't shock me at all if that continues, 'Nah, I don't need to deal with this with 30 million people watching. We're good.'"
Elika: KD also cares what people think
ELIKA: "I think a lot has been made of Kevin Durant's non-confrontational nature, because that's the way we saw his departure played out. But I think one thing that's been missed is, KD strikes me as a guy who also cares what people think about him, much more so than Russell, right?
"So I think if there is going to be some sort of decision to be made about whether they're going to be on the court together at the same time, I think what's going to play into that for KD isn't necessarily whether or not he wants to risk a confrontation with Russ on the court, it's how is that going to look if it seems like ... "
Nick: KD doesn't always know what's best
NICK: "It's a great point, he's worried about the public perception. But in that vein, Durant is wishy-washy. Durant, right after the game against the Thunder on the court said, 'I thought they'd be louder,' they being the crowd.
"In the post-game press conference, 14 minutes later, said, 'It's the loudest I've ever heard this building.' He sometimes can't keep — when you are trying to, we saw it with LeBron the first year with the Heat, when he was like, 'Do I want to be the villain? Do I not want to be the villain?'
"When you are trying to really figure out who you are in this phase of your life, it's something I think all of us has gone through at certain points in time.
"Not to reveal any secrets, but C.C. and I had a very personal moment off the air at one of our homes a few months back where Cris talked to me about how comfortable he is in his own skin at this point in his life ... and I told you the truth: I ain't there yet. I'm about 20 years younger than you, I still deal with my own stuff. I strive to be there."
Nick: KD is probably conflicted
NICK: "So I'm not throwing shade at Durant for not being a fully-defined person at this point in his life. I think it's hard, especially when you're in the public eye. But given the fact that he can flip-flop 15 minutes to the next, does he know what's best? Don't you think it's possible he's like, 'Man, we'll just play and get it all behind us.' And then the devil on his shoulder's like, 'Well, what if we play, and Russ throws it to me, I throw it back to him, he throws it back to me ...'
"I think there's a lot of concern there. I think it's on the board that they don't play together."
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Nick: If Russ and KD are playing together, then go all-in
NICK: "If you are going to play Durant and Westbrook at the same time, then just go all-in and put Russ in with the four Warriors.
"Like just go all for it. Steph, Klay, Draymond, Durant — you know those four are going to play together at one point in time. The fifth guy, what's the most interesting? Marc Gasol? Bump that. Make it Russ. Let's just see what the hell happens."