do you see the pain in kagami’s expression?
that forced smile he puts on to not only convince kuroko that there is nothing to worry about and that he will do everything in his power to win, but also to convince himself that it was okay, that his team should be, is, more important than his bond with himuro
he makes up his mind, he chooses to fight for the present and the future with seirin, abandoning his past with himuro, but deep down in his heart he knows that he’ll never be able to pick just one. that’s why he asks kuroko to get rid of the ring for him. he wouldn’t be able to throw it out himself, he wouldn’t be able to throw away all those memories, all the smiles and laughter he and himuro shared, all the times they had fun playing basketball together, not as true enemies, but as brothers, competing with each other in all seriousness, but without hard feelings after one of them lost… he didn’t want to throw that away
but he had to, seirin counts on him, he’s the only one who can stand a chance against himuro. everyone believes in him, and kagami feels he has to answer that trust, he wants to fight with them. and because of that he is torn, his heart wants both, but can only have one.
and he finally makes his decision, with the ring no longer weighing over his heart, he is able to face himuro with true intent to win. he even goes as far as stopping to use himuro’s first name, making him even more into a stranger, as if they didn’t know each other, and himuro was just another enemy to defeat on the way to being nr1 in japan. kagami pushes back every thought of the bond they shared, and focuses on the present, on the people who fought with him all this time, who helped him get here, who were by his side, sweating in practice and going through the same hell he was, doing the impossible in order to win.
seirin is his team, those are his teammates, who believe in him, support him, and strive towards the same goal as him. and if it comes to this, he will battle his past, to help them see the glorious future. even if he hurts his heart in the process.