Durant dazzles in cupcake-themed OKC return

Kevin Durant and the Watrriors

Matt Medley

Matt Medley covers Ohio State basketball for AmicoHoops and various local sports for other outlets around Northeast Ohio.

Follow @MedleyHoops on Twitter.

Kevin Durant‘s return to Oklahoma City had a little bit of everything a basketball fan could hope to see on Saturday.

Yeah. There was a guy dressed as a cupcake, referring to Russell Westbrook’s not-so-subtle Instagram post on the Fourth of July, when the point guard essentially called his former teammate a cupcake for choosing to sign with the Warriors. OKC fans even chanted “cupcake” during the game.

HAPPY 4th YALL….🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

A photo posted by Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) on

The guy in the cupcake suit was probably one of about 18,203 people inside a sold-out Chesapeake Energy Arena greeting Durant with open arms.

Even during warm-ups, two hours prior to tipoff, the crowd let Durant know how it felt.

As ESPN’s Marc Stein noted, it makes the perfect theme for a Beats commercial, as Durant just listened to his music and knocked down warm-up shots like it was just another game.

The chorus of boos didn’t stop after the introductions, as the Thunder faithful let him hear it all night, especially when Durant touched the ball.

Just as Durant couldn’t stop the fans’ jeers, the Thunder couldn’t stop him from scoring. The eight-time All-Star scored a team-high 34 points, hitting 12-of-21 field-goal attempts, en route to a 130-114 victory.

Some might say that’s just one of many reasons proving Durant made the right decision for himself, but that’s a topic for a later date, and ultimately depends on whether or not it ends with championship celebration(s).

However, the postgame comments might have been the most interesting development of the game. Sure, Durant scored 34. That’s par for the course. The Warriors beat the Thunder by 16. Not much to see there.

But the postgame media sessions seemingly turned out to have as much to do with cupcakes as the game itself.

Whichever reporter got the ball rolling with the first cupcake question must have set off a chain reaction, but Durant took it in stride.

“I’ve been called worse in my life,” he said.

You thought that was it, right? Enter: Draymond Green. Yes, that’s a cupcake on his shirt.

For a night that had been hyped up by some as a chance for Westbrook to get revenge on Durant and give the Thunder fans some satisfaction, the MVP candidate didn’t put much weight on the perceived rivalry.

“It doesn’t make any sense,” Westbrook said. “He plays for his team. I play for my team. He does his thing and I do my thing. Plain and simple.”

Westbrook did his thing indeed, scoring a game-high 47 points, finishing two assists shy of a triple-double, and the Thunder still lost by double-digits, which paints a pretty accurate picture of what the team has been since Durant’s departure.

The two teams don’t meet again in the regular season and Oklahoma City (31-24) is currently 6.5 games ahead of the eighth-seeded Denver Nuggets.

There’s plenty of basketball to be played, but unless the Thunder or Warriors go through a major slump after the All-Star Break, it’s unlikely the two teams meet in the playoffs.

As it stands, OKC would face the Spurs in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. The last time that happened, things didn’t quite go as expected.

The landscape of the league has changed quite a bit since the fateful Fourth of July decision, but watching Durant and Westbrook go toe-to-toe should make for some good theater in the coming years, regardless of who else is on the court.

About the Author

Matt Medley

Matt Medley covers Ohio State basketball for AmicoHoops and various local sports for other outlets around Northeast Ohio.

Follow @MedleyHoops on Twitter.

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