Durant and Westbrook, who played together for eight seasons in Oklahoma City, have kept mostly mum on their relationship since losing in the Western Conference Finals. Durant announced his move to the Warriors on July 4, while Westbrook signed a contract extension on Aug. 4 that runs through 2019 with an opt-out clause in summer 2018.
Appearing on HBO's Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons alongside rapper Nas, Durant addressed the new chapter in his relationship with Westbrook:
"When you step in between the lines, that's when we compete," Durant says. "That's when we're gonna go at each other. That's when I'm gonna do what I do in my zone and you're gonna do what you do. I don't carry that with me as soon as I step off the court. It's not like ... I don't care about you that much to try to want to hate you. I hear all the time that Michael hated such and such, Isiah hated such and such. I'm not thinking about you at home when I'm on my couch for me to hate you that much. That's just not who I am.
"When we play, I'm not even thinking about you. I'm worried about how I'm gonna dominate. I'm not going out and meeting Russell by his car and wanting to talk to him and he's not gonna want to fight me. I don't care about all that stuff. I'm gonna go out there and when we play, I'm gonna hoop the way I've always hooped my whole life and I'm gonna compete the way I've always competed. The work doesn't stop. I've really just got a different jersey on."
For reference, this is what Durant said about Westbrook during his his 2013-14 MVP speech. (Spoiler: He told Russ he loved him).
"I could speak all night about Russell," Durant said. "An emotional guy who will run through a wall for me. I don't take it for granted. There's days when I just want to tackle you and tell you to snap out of it sometimes, but I know there's days when you want to do the same thing with me. I love you, man. I love you. A lot of people put unfair criticism on you as a player and I'm the first to have your back, man, though it all. Just stay the person you are. Everybody loves you here. I love you. I thank you so much, man. You make me better. You know, your work ethic, I always want to compete with you. I always want to pull up in the parking lot of the arena, or the practice facility, and if you beat me there I was always upset. I always wanted to outwork you. You set the bar. You set the tone. Thank you so much, man. Thank you. You have a big piece of this. You're an MVP-caliber player. It's a blessing to play with you, man."
Durant spoke to Simmons specifically about his move from the Thunder to the Warriors and how critics fail to understand him as a person while judging him as a basketball player.
"When they called me weak, I think I'm the total opposite," Durant says. "There are plenty of times I could have quit in this whole lifestyle I'm in. There's plenty of times when I lost I could have just said that's it for me, let me move on … how I'm I weak if I'm at the top, elite level of my profession? I just chose to play for a different team.
"Nobody cares about what I want as a person. It's all about what I can do on the basketball court. They don't care if I like going fishing on Tuesdays or like taking pictures on the street. Nobody cares as long as I can shoot that ball into the hoop. Why should I care what they think if they don't really care about me as a whole?"
The Warriors open training camp next week and play their first preseason game Oct. 1. On Nov. 3, the Thunder travel to Oakland for the first of four games between the two rivals. Durant returns to Oklahoma City on Feb. 11 and March 20. All four meetings will be on national TV.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.