Kevin Durant created a rift with former teammate Russell Westbrook when he bolted from the Oklahoma City Thunder and joined the Golden State Warriors last season. However, that did not stop Durant from congratulating Westbrook for winning the NBA 2016-17 Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award. Durant extended his congratulations to his former teammate in a comment on his YouTube channel, writing: "Huge congrats to Russell Westbrook on MVP, that boy went out there and was a created player on 2k all year, F--kin balled out.

Gotta respect it!"

Westbrook had an outstanding season, becoming the second player in NBA history to average a triple-double for the season. He finished the season with an average of 31.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 10.4 assists per game. Westbrook edged James Harden of the Houston Rockets and Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio for the honor, getting 69 out of a possible 101 first-place votes. Harden got 22 first-place votes, while Leonard garnered nine.

With Westbrook and Durant leading the way, the Thunder reached the playoff six times from 2008 to 2016.

They also reached the NBA Finals in 2012 but lost to the powerhouse Miami Heat, led by LeBron James. However, Durant signed with the Warriors last summer, breaking up one of the league’s best duos, which created a rift with Westbrook.

Michael Jordan lauds Westbrook

In a letter, Hall of Famer and Charlotte Hornets team owner Michael Jordan congratulated Westbrook for his accomplishment. Jordan informed Westbrook that he won his first MVP award before winning his first NBA title.

Jordan won five MVP awards, with the first coming in 1988, three years before he tasted his first championship in 1991. He went on to win five more rings with the Chicago Bulls.

Durant congratulates other winners

Durant also congratulated other winners, including Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets (Sixth Man of the Year), Malcolm Brogdon of the Milwaukee Bucks (Rookie of the Year), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Most Improved Player) and teammate Draymond Green (Defensive Player of the Year).

The other winners were Mike D’Antoni of the Houston Rockets (Coach of the Year); Bob Myers of the Golden State Warriors (Executive of the Year); Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks (Teammate of the Year Award); Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics (Lifetime Achievement Award); Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets (Sportsmanship Award); and Monty Williams of the San Antonio Spurs (Sager Strong Award).

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