Kevin Durant has had more time than usual to peruse social media as his Warriors marched to a fifth straight NBA Finals appearance.
Durant suffered a right calf strain in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets on May 8. The Warriors then swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the West finals without Durant, and are now awaiting the winner of the Raptors-Bucks Eastern Conference finals series. During the downtime, Durant got into a social media spat with Fox Sports′s Chris Broussard. It wasn’t the first time Durant has chosen to engage on a platform such as Twitter or Instagram, far from it.
Talking to reporters Friday, Durant explained why he frequently responds.
“Because I have social media,” Durant said. “I’m a human being with a social media account. I can see if I ventured off in, like, to politics or, like, culinary arts or music and give you my input but I’m sticking to something that I know.
“I’m actually talking about stuff that I know. I’m qualified to talk about basketball.”
Durant took umbrage with a Warriors fan who posted an Instagram comment Sunday after the Warriors took a 3-0 series lead over the Blazers, “Doubt us without KD!!! Doubt curry, klay and dray!!! And keep thinking Milwaukee is better!!! Ya’ll doubters and haters will see!!!”
The two-time NBA Finals MVP replied, “very divisive [mikey] let’s celebrate the win as dub nation!! F--- wrong wit u??”
Durant won’t be available to play in Game 1 when the series NBA Finals begin Thursday. With Golden State now 5-0 across two playoff series in his absence, the idea that the team is better without Durant has been given a little life. Maybe he doesn’t need to rush to return, right?
The soon-to-be free agent also addressed that notion Friday, correcting a reporter who asked him about “their” play in referring to how the Warriors have done without him.
“Our play?” Durant asked. “I think we’ve been playing great.
“It’s been that way since I got here. It’s the Warriors and KD. I understand that. And I feel like my teammates and the organization know exactly what I’ve done here on and off the court to become a part of this culture [and] stamp my flag in this culture and this organization . . . I know what I bring to the team but I also know that a lot of people on the outside don’t like to see us together. I get it.”
“It’s hard to get away from that because I watch the games and you watch the lead-up into the games and that’s all everybody’s talking about,” Durant said. “The competitive side of me, I also like to talk basketball as well so if you want to say something like that, I’m going to engage in it."
Stephen Curry, who averaged 36.5 points per game in the Warriors’ sweep of the Blazers, and 35.8 in the five full games Durant has missed, poured some water on the notion that the Warriors and Durant are somehow separate entities.
“I feel like for the last three years everybody has taken their shots at trying to nitpick or break us down or drive a wedge in our team chemistry or our togetherness and whatever the case is,” Curry said. “And this year it’s even been amplified even more with his free agency stuff. Nobody can say anything without it getting scrutinized or criticized. Nobody can be happy when people are playing well. That’s the part to me that’s the most surprising.”
“If it’s KD playing well it’s, ‘Oh they’re playing a different style and it’s not as fun to watch,’ ” Curry said. “Or when he’s out and we’re winning games it’s, ‘Oh, are we better? Are we more fun?’ or whatever the question is. You hear it all the time. We’re a great team because everybody who puts on a uniform goes out and competes at a high level. We look out for each other. There’s a little bit of sacrifice but at the end of the day it’s all about winning. And no matter who’s on the floor, that’s what we’re about.”
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