Kevin Durant sent a text to former Oklahoma City assistant coach Rex Kalamian, who has spent the past few seasons with the Toronto Raptors. Durant praised the bond that exists between Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, who were his teammates with Team USA in the 2016 Olympics.
“Your two guys are the best. I’m jealous of their relationship, the way they get along with each other and the way they play together. The way they enjoy each other, it’s great,” Kalamian said of that text.
“I think it’s kind of what he wants,” Kalamian continued. “He wants that bond with someone . . . and I think he’s going to find that.
“Early on in OKC, we had that.”
Kalamian said the trade of James Harden in 2012 after the Thunder had reached The Finals went beyond basketball.
“We had that (bond) really with James Harden. He was a connector of everyone. He brought Westbrook, Durant and (Serge) Ibaka and they all kind of connected, they all came together,” Kalamian said.
“James is a big reason and when he left I think Kevin said . . . that trade was the beginning of the end for him and now there wasn’t that connection as much.
“Kevin and Russell, they respect the heck out of each other, no question about it. They played well together, they work well together, they communicate, but I think the connection was lost a little bit for whatever reason.”