Russell Westbrook shirks responsibility after Kevin Durant injury

Durant and Westbrook celebrate on court (©GettyImages)

When news broke that Kevin Durant was to be ruled out for the start of the NBA season following an injury to his foot it took just minutes for 'Russell Westbrook MVP' to start trending on Twitter.

With Durant out with a fractured foot for the foreseeable future the spotlight has expectedly shifted onto his talented Thunder teammate with OKC fans hoping the 25-year-old point guard can take on the responsibility of leading the franchise in the absence of the irreplaceable Durant.

Russell Westbrook isn't quite as keen as Thunder fans to take on the mantle however, with the three-time All-Star's words on the subject hardly those of a man prepared to carry the team on his back.

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Westbrook responds

"It's not about me," explained Westbrook when asked how Durant's injury affects his play going forward.

"It's about our team. I can't win games by myself. I can't do anything by myself.

"I kind of want to take the attention off me and put it more on the team. Everybody keeps asking what I'm going to do and how I'm going to change. I think it's more about our team and what we can do..."

Westbrook also told reporters Monday that he does not expect his role in the OKC offense to change.

Talking the talk

Kevin Durant was voted NBA MVP for a reason - he, alongside LeBron James, is the most talented player in the league. As such it is foolish to expect the undoubtedly talented Westbrook to be able to replicate the achievements on the court.

Westbrook is right that the entire Thunder roster as a whole will have to step up in order to replace Durant's stat line if the franchise is to begin the regular season in good form. 

But with Durant having played in all but one regular season game during 2013-14 it is also foolish not to expect Scott Brooks to be forced into major changes on his offense.

With Westbrook now the leader of that offense (whether he likes it or not) his usual supplementary role will be changed regardless of his opinion, with his adventurous shot selection likely reigned in at least a little now that the metronomic scoring of Durant is unavailable.

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