Then came the question: What have you learned about yourself without NBA ?
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“That we need him,” Durant told the assembled media. “We miss him.”
. The struggles would continue the following season, as Westbrook underwent two more knee surgeries and missed 36 games.
The Thunder were forced to forge a new identity in 2014, and that meant duct-taping the green light in the on position for Durant. The result: a January known now as the “Slim Reaper” era. Durant averaged 35.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists without Westbrook, leading the Thunder to 10 straight wins and establishing himself as the MVP front-runner.
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Westbrook returned after the All-Star break, but the Thunder were smoked by the Miami Heat on national television in his first game back. They lost two more with Durant and Westbrook trying to share possessions, and Durant, who desperately wanted to win MVP, began worrying that the readjustment to Westbrook would hurt his chances.
Then Brian Keefe, a Thunder assistant at the time, delivered a blunt message: Get over yourself.
“He let me know how bad I was — my body language, my attitude,” Durant told NBA.com’s David Aldridge in 2014. “I just decided to look at myself and self-evaluate. And he was right. I had to change how I was thinking, how I was acting toward my teammates. Everything.”
Durant listened, Westbrook returned to form and the Thunder went on to 59 wins. In his now-famous MVP speech, Durant saved his much-maligned teammate for last.
“There’s days when I just want to tackle you and tell you to snap out of it sometimes, but I know there’s days when you want to do the same thing with me,” Durant told Westbrook. “I love you, man. I love you. A lot of people put unfair criticism on you as a player and I’m the first to https://www.igs.com/ .”