Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook

Did Kobe Bryant play a role in the parting of Russell Westbrook – Kevin Durant duo at the Oklahoma City Thunder? A story recently shared by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski suggests that Kobe’s trash talking might have had some impact.

According to Woj, Kobe was telling Westbrook that he should be winning scoring titles, not Durant while all three were on the US Olympic roster in 2012.

Even though it took four more years until KD left the Thunder to form a dynasty with the Golden State Warriors, one of the reasons for his departure reportedly was Russ’ ball hogging.

Per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN as transcribed by Dan Feldman of NBC Sports:

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.” Anything he could do to plant a little seed of dissent with two teammates, it was pretty funny.