Kobe Bryant Reportedly Told Russell Westbrook He Should Be Winning Scoring Titles Over Kevin Durant

We all know about Kobe Bryant‘s fierce competitive spirit, which was on full display when he reportedly tried sow dissent among the Oklahoma City Thunders‘ young core during the 2012 Olympics.

First, some backstory. The Thunder had established themselves as the NBA’s team of the future heading into the 2012 Olympics. Kevin Durant had just won the scoring title while Russell Westbrook and James Harden helped lead the team to the NBA Finals, where they lost to LeBron James and the Miami Heat. Although it was clear that Harden, Westbrook, and Durant were a powerful trio, Bryant and his Lakers—who had recently added Dwight Howard and Steve Nash—had title aspirations as well. To help this mission, Bean started did his best to disrupt the Thunder’s core in the hopes of straining the relationship between Westbrook and Durant. 

“In 2012, what I remember with Kobe was he spent a lot of the – or he spent some of that – Olympics with Russell Westbrook telling Russ, ‘You know, you should be winning scoring titles. I don’t know why you’re letting Kevin win scoring titles. You should be the one winning them,'” ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recalled during a recent episode of his podcast. “Anything he could do to plant a little seed of dissent with two teammates, it was pretty funny.”

And maybe it worked. KD left the Thunder in 2016 to join the Warriors where ball-sharing and spacing were an emphasis, and the Thunder never won that title they once seemed destined for. 

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