The Oklahoma City Thunder are poised to make the 2016 NBA Finals with a 3-1 series lead over the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. However, NBA rumors are now ripe that there is a rift between Thunder star guard Russell Westbrook and back-up big man Enes Kanter.
According to The Washington Post, Westbrook “recommended” to head coach Billy Donovan to “take out” Kanter during the second game of the Game 4 against the Warriors. The move was confirmed by the Thunder coach and NBA rumors will now persist that there could be growing issues between Westbrook and Kanter as they try to close out the Warriors in the next three games of the best-of-seven series.
“I’ve tried to foster that kind of stuff because I think what happens a lot of times with players is a lot of times it may be, I don’t want them to feel like they can’t come to me,” Donovan admitted in the article.
“I want Kevin and Russell and those guys that have been here and have invested so much to be able to communicate with me, and I want to be able to go to them.”
Kanter has been criticized much of his NBA career for his weaknesses on the defensive end and this looks to be the reason why Westbrook asked his coach to substitute him off the floor in the game against the Warriors.
OKC beat Golden State, 118-94 and the move to bench Kanter, who played just 9 minutes in Game 4, helped the Thunder play better on the defensive end.
However, NBA rumors are now surrounding OKC as they close out the Warriors in the West Finals. Is there a growing rift between Westbrook and Kanter and will it affect their team in the next game? How will Kanter react and play knowing his superstar teammate does not want him to be on the floor in this series?
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