Snapshots fired? Russell Westbrook shows up for Kevin Durant showdown in 'official photographer' bib

Ball Don't Lie

Hey, did you know that photography is a hobby of Kevin Durant’s? It is! He wrote about it for The Players Tribune back in November of 2015:

Last month I turned 27, and my friend got me a camera for my birthday — one of those big digital cameras with a nice lens. Growing up, I got cameras as gifts and I always did the same thing: take it out of the box, try it out for a couple days and then never really use it again. But this time — and I don’t know why — I started taking it almost everywhere I went.

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Being behind the camera was new for me because I’m usually in front of it. I’ve already gained a lot of respect for photographers because you have to be ready all the time. You never want to miss a shot. I think that’s what I like about it.

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He even got a chance to cover Super Bowl 50 as a sideline photographer for The Players Tribune, calling it “a dream offer” … which earned him a bit of good-natured ribbin’ from his ol’ buddy Russell Westbrook:



Haha! Pretty good. Man, I’d forgotten about that. Fun trip down memory lane, you guys.

Oh, also, in a totally unrelated story, Russ showed up for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s nationally televised game against the Golden State Warriors — the team that, as you might have heard, Durant joined in free agency this past summer — wearing an outfit headlined by an accessory that raised even more eyebrows than Westbrook’s typical runway-ready fare: a bright orange “Official Photographer” bib.


The popular interpretation of the recontextualized top thus far has been that Westbrook was continuing to offer a smirk and a sneer in Durant’s direction, as he appears to have done in a variety of contexts over the four months since KD decided to leave OKC to join the Warriors in free agency (and without so much as a phone call):



Then again, maybe it’s something else.

Westbrook has insisted ever since the dissolution of his eight-year partnership with Durant that he doesn’t focus on what anybody else says or does and that he just “continued about [his] day” after learning Durant was leaving. After Wednesday night’s Thunder win over the Los Angeles Clippers, Westbrook made it clear that he planned to play Thursday’s game against the Warriors like it was any other game, and that he wasn’t interested in addressing any Durant-related questions, despite media persistence on the matter.

Maybe, then, the bib’s less a shot at the amateur photographer he used to play with than one at the professionals who keep talking and writing about his relationship with Durant like they’re characters in a daytime soap opera?





Or, hell, maybe Russ just really likes that shade of orange. Sometimes a cigar’s just a cigar, right?



Then again …

… maybe not.


Whatever the intent, Our Man In Orange — which, by the way, is the second-highest threat level in the Homeland Security Advisory System, topped only by red — entered Oracle on one hellacious roll, leading the only remaining unbeaten team in the Western Conference and looking to prove that, KD or no, the Thunder remain a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference.

It, um, didn’t work out that way.

After a slow start, Durant caught fire, scoring 29 first-half points to pace a remarkable 49-14 run that engulfed the Thunder and sent the Warriors on their way to a 122-96 thrashing of KD’s former club. He finished with 39 points, tying a record for most ever by a player in his first game against his prior employer, in just 31 minutes of play.

After the game, Durant suggested he didn’t give Westbrook’s wardrobe a second thought.

“I don’t care about what nobody wear to the game,” he said, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes. “Who gives a s—? I don’t care what he wore.”

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at devine@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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