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Kevin Durant is Injured; Now It's The Russ Show

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook

The most recent news surrounding one of the NBA's greatest players is disappointing.

Sunday, October 12, The Oklahoma City Thunder announced that their most prized asset, superstar forward Kevin Durant, the reigning MVP of the league has suffered what is known to be a Jones fracture in his right foot.


According to, the injury usually requires surgery which could alter the plans of Durant and Co. and puts the hopes and dreams of a title chase on reserve until he returns to the hardwood.

This injury will sideline Durant for 6-8 weeks, definitely missing the start of the 2014-15 NBA season.

On October 21, Durant held a press conference and said all the right things because rarely does he not. "..It was unexpected, but going through so much in my life, it's another bump in the road that I knew I had to get pass," Durant said during his press conference.

He also expressed that he wanted to take the best route with this injury because he has never been injured before and elected to have surgery influenced by his doctors who have his best interest.

It is understood that Durant will miss time on court right?


What does that mean for the Thunder and the remaining roster? It obviously provides more shots for the players who aren't accustomed to scoring on a consistent basis while adding more shot attempts for the players that Durant plays alongside of in the starting lineup.

It also means that a particular someone on this Thunder roster will have an enhanced role once the ball tips-off on this NBA season.

It means that the Thunder will have to keep the ship afloat in Durant's absence. Without a doubt, it means being fortunate to witness the Russell Westbrook show.

Now of course Westbrook would like to begin the year with his partner in crime; it's the only life he knows. For the majority of his career he hasn't spent much time playing without Durant opposed to Durant and his individual career experiences thus far.

In the first round of the 2012-13 NBA Playoffs against the no. 8 seed - the Houston Rockets, the then no.1 seeded Thunder witnessed Westbrook injure his knee courtesy of Rockets guard Patrick Beverley, who collided with Westbrook on a steal attempt.

That injury, a day later revealed itself as a slight tear in his right meniscus, which required surgery eliminating his participation for the remainder of the 2012-13 playoffs.

Fast-forward to last season.

Prior to the beginning of the 2013-14 NBA season, Westbrook underwent a second surgery on his right knee.

Reports surfaced that Westbrook would miss the first two weeks of the season and in reality only missed the first two games.

Following the Christmas holiday, Westbrook elected to undergo arthroscopic surgery on the same right knee, delaying his return to the court until after the All-Star break.

In Westbrook's absence, the Thunder ascended behind the remarkable production of Durant who did more than hold down the fort, he won the MVP award.

The "Durantula" endured 2/3 of a playoffs series, a playoff series and a portion of a season without Westbrook's assistance.

Now it's Westbrook's turn.

It's going to be interesting to see if the Thunder and it's coaching staff improve the offensive flow in applying more creativity in the offense, involving more players than the playing off the "Durant-Westbrook Isolation" strategy.

That means you Scott Brooks, the Thunder's Head Coach.

It is going to be interesting to observe how Westbrook manages without his best pal. How will he own the responsibility of the franchises direction in Durant's medical leave.

It's interesting because Westbrook is the type of player with the mentality who welcomes this challenge. He wants this task.

He will not run from it, he embraces it.

This is the same player who although acknowledges that this is Durant's team, views himself as the no.1 primary option.

That's why we love Westbrook.

The 2010-14 "Big Three" of the Miami Heat featuring Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all knew their roles.

Wade and Bosh sacrificed their individual production because they were aware of who they were playing alongside.

It was LeBron's team and we all knew that.

When I watch Westbrook play, I do not see someone who is interested in deferring to the greatness of Durant, even though certain situations arise in which he should do so.

I see someone who goes after it to a fault. Someone who wants it so bad that you cannot blame him when he makes a mistake; you have to accept it.

You can't question Westbrook's heart, desire or motive, which is why it will be interesting to see how Westbrook, a 3-time All-star fares in the time Durant will miss.

In addition to the All-Star appearances, Westbrook has been selected to three All-NBA second teams, years 2011-13.

At the age of 25, Westbrook holds career averages of 20.1 points per game, 6.9 assists and 4.9 rebounds. Westbrook is a top-ten NBA talent because he won't settle for anything less.

He would probably say he is the best player in the league to which you can obviously present an argument despite the fact that you would understand where he is coming from.

So the main and primary question for the Thunder is: can Westbrook provide stability for the Thunder in the ultra-competitive Western Conference while Durant recovers?

This is why we, NBA journalists and enthusiasts love the NBA.

Its not just about the players, but the story-lines and obstacles that some of the greatest players in this league will have to confront in their careers from time to time.

Translation: Must-see TV.

As soon as Wednesday October 29, at the Portland Trailblazers, the Thunder will be must-see TV.