Russell Westbrook Says He's Cooling It with Technicals, Kevin Durant Disagrees

Dan CarsonTrending Lead WriterDecember 29, 2015

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27:  Russell Westbrook #0 of the Oklahoma City Thunder reacts to referee Monty McCutchen #13 after his technical foul during a 106-95 Laker win at Staples Center on January 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Russell Westbrook is mostly anger.

I mean that in a good, natural way—like how the normal human body is mostly water.

In Westbrook's case, in lieu of water, the majority of his physiological makeup is hatred for people who are in front of him on a basketball court. It's what makes Westbrook great. It's also what led him to rack up 17 technical fouls over the course of the 2014-15 NBA season.

But according to Westbrook, those days are done.

As ESPN.com's Royce Young reported Tuesday, the Oklahoma City Thunder guard said he's turning over a new leaf and pledging to no longer argue with refs when he disagrees with a call.

"I'm done with those days," Westbrook said during a team shootaround. "I learned in the summertime, once they make a call, they ain't changing it. Took me a while, but I learned it."

Westbrook said the reason for this about-face is historical evidence.

He says he looked over film of his run-ins with officials from last season, and he saw that his arguing never resulted in a referee changing the call.

"I watched film. I watched all my techs and all the dumb s--t I was doing, so I decided to tell myself, there's no need to argue," the guard said. "They're not changing it, so move on." 

This is a nice sentiment, but teammate Kevin Durant is buying none of it, according to Young.

"Not at all, not all," Durant said when asked if he believed Westbrook was truly done butting heads with officials. "We'll see. Hopefully he doesn't get any more [technicals], but I don't buy that."

I don't know if I buy it, either. Westbrook saying he's giving up angry reactions is like a friend you just watched smoke an entire carton in one road trip telling you he's going cold turkey now. Or a cheetah telling you he's signed a truce with the gazelles.  

But then again, Westbrook only has four technical fouls so far this season, which definitely shades toward a lower total than 2014-15. So hey—maybe he is serious about being less combative with refs.

Or maybe he's waiting for them to get too comfortable.


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