Over the last several years, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s dynamic duo of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant has endured its fair share of criticism. People have questioned whether or not they can coexist, given both players’ apparent need to have the ball.
Grantland.com’s Bill Simmons has famously compared the supposed tension between the two to that of Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell from HBO’s famous drama “The Wire.” There is some value to the analogy, but it’s not entirely correct.
Avon and Stringer’s issues come from the arguments over the hierarchical structure within their drug gang. Stringer is smarter and better at organizing their runners, but Avon is the emotional leader who everyone rallies behind.
That would make Durant Avon and Westbrook Stringer. However, this is where the link dissolves. While Stringer is the more talented businessman, Durant is the more talented basketball player. In “The Wire,” Stringer deserved to be the leader, but Durant, as one of the most dominant players in the world, should be the one to take over when the Thunder need it.