KD's Injury

Cheering that injury was a scumbag move by scumbags.

Jim Rome
June 11, 2019 - 9:41 am
Kevin Durant

USA Today

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There was so much on the line last night in Toronto. A title for the Raptors. The coronation of Kawhi. The end of the dynastic run for the Warriors. Or the return of Kevin Durant and the start of the most dramatic comeback in NBA Finals history.

So many different storylines, so many different angles, and what ended up happening was the worst of all possible results. Truly sickening. Honestly, that was a complete and utter gut punch. I don’t care whether you like basketball or don’t, whether you like Kevin Durant or don’t, whether you like the Raptors or don’t, whether you love the Warriors or hate them. If you have a soul, it had to be gutted after last night’s game.

How surreal and terrible was it? The Warriors pulled off an incredible comeback on the road to win and keep their season and possibly their dynasty going, and it’s not leading the show. That’s how last night went. I also tweeted it last night: I have never seen a team so gutted after such an enormous victory; one of their biggest of their dynastic run. 

Because initially, it was awesome. The first quarter of last night’s game was everything you hoped it would be, and more. And it started before the game.

If you were looking for a Willis Reed moment from Kevin Durant, the pregame huddle in the tunnel told you that he wasn’t going to be limping out onto the court just for motivation and inspiration.

That was KD doing his dance, and nailing it. And then once the game started, the biggest question was: what could you really expect from him? He’d been off for a month, there’s no way he just comes back and starts lighting it up, right? Wrong.

First shot, perfect.

Whatever. So he knocked down a three.  No way he does it again, right? ? Wrong.

Two for two from deep.

Got to the line for two with just over a minute left in the first quarter. And then did this the next trip down, he drained another 3.

What I’m saying is that whatever you expected from Durant, he exceeded it. He absolutely smashed it. And just like that….The Warriors were a different team and that was a different series. Steph was getting open looks. Klay was getting open looks.  None of the three could miss and Golden State was taking it to Toronto.

But as well Golden State was shooting and as much of a lift as Durant them, they couldn’t shake Toronto. The Raptors weren’t going anywhere. They weren’t folding. The first quarter last night was pure electricity. I was gassed. And I was sitting on my couch in my living room. Durant was looking good, moving well, and while there was a long way to go, it felt like the Warriors could rip this and do the impossible by winning three straight. That’s how incredible that first quarter was and how incredible Kevin Durant was.

And then the absolute worst thing happened.

That was horrible. Absolutely sickening. You knew the moment he went down, it wasn’t just bad, it was the worst.

I have said for years that saying something sucks is not a take, but that sucks. That absolutely sucks. For him. For his family. For his teammates. For the game of basketball. Because that is one of the best to ever do it, coming back from an injury to help his team in the Finals, and ends up paying a huge price.

The league changed last night, because the expectation is that it’s a torn Achilles, which means that we’re likely going to go a very long time without seeing Kevin Durant again. And that sucks. Forget Game 5, forget the rest of the Finals, the league is worse off without Kevin Durant.

That was a great game when he was on the floor. That was a tease of the series we could’ve gotten and for one quarter it was truly amazing.

Then…that moment sucked the life out of the game and out of everything. Just completely wrecked it. Because if you love basketball or just love sports, you had to love Kevin Durant’s return and you had to love what it represented.

Which brings me to Toronto’s fans and their initial reaction, which was to cheer the injury. That was absolutely low rent. The lowest of the low. Absolute bush league. And I’ll never understand it. 

I’ve been hyping Raptor fans throughout the playoffs for their passion and the way they back their team no matter what. It is an incredible fan base, but that was an absolutely garbage moment. Complete and total trash. Especially the losers who were caught on camera waving bye-bye at Durant. What the hell is wrong with you? How badly as your life gone, you would do that. Buy a ticket doesn’t give you license to do that. Nor does it make you a good fan; it makes you an idiot.

But, don’t take my word for it, ask DeMarcus Cousins what he thought about it.

Or the great Festus Ezeli on twitter:

I don’t care how you feel about KD, Warriors or about any NBA player If you ever see someone get injured and you cheer, you’re bleeping scum.

That pretty much sums it up. Cheering that injury was a scumbag move by scumbags and if you can’t see that, I’ve got nothing for you. 

I know they turned it around and were chanting his name by the time he left the floor, but that initial reaction was total bush league. As much heat as Philadelphia gets for their fans, Toronto ripped a bunch of that last night.

Respect to the Raptor players for getting on their fans for that reaction, but you shouldn’t need players to tell you that cheering an injury is a garbage move. I don’t care who you root for, Kevin Durant going down with a likely torn Achilles isn’t a good thing at all.  And it sure as hell isn’t something you cheer, no matter how badly you want your team to win.

You care about the NBA because of guys like Durant, because of guys who can do what nobody else on the planet can do. He makes the game better every time he steps on the court and if you were cheering his injury, you make the game worse.

If you were cheering or thinking about defending the people cheering, you better take a long look in the mirror, because that isn’t about Kevin Durant or his injury, that’s about you.  

I’ll get into some of the other details in a moment, but if you want to come in here and talk about how that injury impacts free agency and what that means, you’re not much better.

Give it a moment. Better yet, give it a rest. Show some respect.

That was a guy who busted his ass to get back on the court, came back, was incredible, and then it gets ripped away from him and from us. And that sucks. It truly truly sucks.