Kevin Durant believes he was targeted by a referee during the Golden State Warriors’ 123-112 win over the New York Knicks at Oracle Arena on Tuesday, saying that’s what led to his ejection with 2 minutes and 50 seconds left in the game.
Durant unleashed on the official in question after the game.
“I was dribbling up on the right side,” Durant said. “I made a right-to-left cross. He said I carried. He kind of let that go. I asked him where did you get the carry from? He said I froze the defender. I said that’s what a crossover is for, and that’s why I do it, to freeze my defender. He tried to make a bunch of excuses and I told him he was wrong. He went to halftime probably with an attitude.”
“So second half, his whole thing was like he’s trying to get me,” Durant said. “Look at my first tech. I got the rebound and I dribbled the ball hard and he teched me up. He was searching for me. He was looking to try to tech me up to get me back because he was still in his feelings from the first half. That’s what’s been going on around the league the whole year is a bunch of that. You know what I’m saying? I’ve got to keep my head a little bit. But I was upset. I’m a human being too. I get upset.”
Kevin Durant on his ejection and officiating pic.twitter.com/uicljZ8luP
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) January 24, 2018
Durant added that he expected Williams to hold a grudge against him going forward, and making things personal has been one of the primary criticisms levelled against the officials by the players this season.
“When we see James again, I’m sure he’ll still be in his feelings…,” Durant said.
“…This is a bad season for us and the refs, as far as our relationships are concerned,” Durant said. “But we’ll be all right.”
As KD alluded to, it has been a season of strained relationships between the players and referees.
The officials believe the league is turning a blind eye to the players’ aggressive behaviour towards them, while the players believe the referees are too dismissive and unwilling to communicate.
The National Basketball Players Association and National Basketball Referees Association are set to meet again during the All-Star break.