How Kevin Durant & Derrick Rose silenced their haters this week

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What a week is has been for justification in the NBA.

LeBron James is probably the king of justification, as well as everything else. He departed his hometown franchise of Cleveland and headed to Miami in order to win titles.

He would win two of them before returning home and finally delivering Cleveland their first-ever NBA title and he did it against a record-breaking, 73-win Golden State Warriors side, no less.

Kevin Durant is embarking on a similar journey this year after leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder to, ironically, join the Warriors so he has the best chance to win a title.

For Derrick Rose, he is seeking a different type of justification. The NBA's youngest ever MVP is a far cry from that 2011 form, but his hometown franchise dealt him away to New York this summer effectively admitting he will never lead them back to prominence like they once believed.

This past week, both Durant and Rose faced their old teams with bad blood seemingly lingering in the air, and both men had the last laugh. Here's how both superstars managed to leave their first meetings with a team they once loved with their heads held high.

Kevin Durant

All the talk before the OKC Thunder visited the Oracle this week centered around Russell Westbrook and Durant coming face-to-face for the first time since the latter's exit and, in many Thunder-tinted eyes, betrayal.

And what happened? They didn't even acknowledge each other. Apart from Westbrook's authoritative block on Durant during the game, the pair barely even crossed paths.

But KD turned up and then some. The small forward and 2014 MVP posted 39 massive points - including seven three-pointers - and seven rebounds to record a blowout 122-97 victory over is old employers.

Even when Enes Kanter tried to rattle KD from the Thunder bench, Durantula responded in the most frustrating way possible. Not with words, but with his class.

The result dealt the Thunder their first loss of the season and helped KD remind everyone that, in spite of Westbrook's regular triple-double heroics, who the real game-changer is.

It's a nice start for KD, but without a championship ring, this whole endeavour will be futile.

Derrick Rose

Rose's tale is a different one to Durant's; he was forced out of his hometown as opposed to seeking any new pastures.

When the point guard was at the height of his powers, he was the Windy City's prodigal son who was could give the city its first title since the great Michael Jordan.

In recent years, and particularly post his ACL injury, Rose become an expensive leech that was preventing Jimmy Butler from growing into the role his talent demanded and he wasn't close to justifying the $20 million Chicago spent on him per season.

To think the 2011 incarnation of Rose would be moved for José Calderon, Jerian Grant and Robin Lopez would have been inconceivable.

However, although the Knicks have not got off to a flying start this season, Rose has swallowed his pride, got his head down, and gone to work.

It's typical that when he returned to the United Center to face the Bulls was when Rose truly shpwed what he can still do to the Knicks faithful, and he did it while showered in boos from the fans who once adored him only a few short years ago.

Both men will need to take these small victories and use them as platforms to reach their larger goals. For Durant, that's nothing less than a championship. For Rose, it is proving he is far from finished at the tender age of 28.

15 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists against the organisation that cast you aside is a fine place to start, Derrick.

Derrick Rose
Chicago Bulls
Central Division
Eastern Conference
Derrick Rose
Oklahoma City Thunder
Northwest Division
Western Conference
New York Knicks
Atlantic Division
Golden State Warriors
Pacific Division
Kevin Durant

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