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Quote from Kobe Bryant illuminates special pairing of the Durant and Westbrook coexistence

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Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are two guys who would probably be athletic superstars regardless of what era of the NBA they were born into. They're both cold-blooded, competitive diehards who are capable of being a leader for the OKC Thunder.

This excerpt from Darnell Mayberry's post about their coexistence at shows just how special that relationship really is:

Earlier this week, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant became the latest and perhaps most credible person to lend credence to how difficult a dynamic that can be. As a guest on Shaquille O'Neal's podcast, Bryant reflected on his rocky yet successful time as Shaq's teammate and said it was only a matter of time before the two went their separate ways.

"Could you imagine...How many years would Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain be playing together with Wilt in his prime and Michael wanting to come up and grow?" Bryant asked. "Like, how long is that going to last before Michael says, ‘You know what? It's time for me to show what I can do.' It is what it is. That's why he and I are one of a kind when it comes to tandem because you literally have two alpha males playing together on one team and that normally does not happen."

Durant and Westbrook have turned the Thunder into one of the rare exceptions.

Through all the talk about who's Batman and who's Robin, whether they're friends who actually are at odds, a dramatic irony in which the Thunder stars have been likened to lead characters Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell from HBO's hit series "The Wire," and questions about which will skip town first to truly be "The Man", Durant and Westbrook have learned to ignore the outside noise and coexist.

And to think that these two guys once coexisted with James Harden along for the ride, too!