Jalen Rose blames media, sports culture for Kevin Durant’s injury in passionate segment
” ‘People will bring you flowers to your funeral but won’t bring you soup when you’re sick’. That’s what I’m seeing for KD right now.”
Jalen Rose blames media, sports culture for Kevin Durant’s injury in passionate segment
Nick Schwartz | USA TODAY SPORTS
ESPN’s Jalen Rose went off on fans and analysts who he claims are pretending to care about Kevin Durant’s best interest after he made a questionable return to the NBA Finals and suffered what looks to be a severe Achilles injury on Monday night.
Durant was impressive in the first quarter for the Warriors, scoring 11 points and hitting three 3-pointers, but was forced to leave the game in the second quarter.
On Tuesday, Rose said that the toxic culture created by fans and the media – one where many fans had labeled Durant ‘soft’ for sitting out the first four games of the Finals, while countless analysts have been urging him to leave in free agency this summer to prove he can carry a franchise – forced Durant into a position where he had to return before he was ready.
“One, I blame the overall culture of sports. There’s a herd mentality that takes place when you’re a professional athlete… If the Golden State Warriors were up 3-1, KD would not have returned. But since they were down 3-1, he was forced to return based on all of the chatter that we knew was going to take place. ‘He’s soft, he really didn’t want it, he wasn’t committed to the team. Oh, and he was leaving anyway.’ And he knows that. That’s why he decided he wanted to come back.
There’s a group called State Property that I loved growing up. And one of the things, I think it was Oschino and Sparks said: ‘People will bring flowers to your funeral but don’t bring you soup when you’re sick.’ That’s what I’m seeing for KD right now. Everybody fake acting like they caring about KD’s best interest when they don’t! It’s phony to me.”
DeMarcus Cousins rips Kevin Durant’s critics, fans who cheered injury
Marcus White | NBC SPORTS
DeMarcus Cousins did not hold back Monday night.
After the Warriors’ season-prolonging win over the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Monday, the Golden State big man repeated two words to reporters when NBC Sports Bay Area’s Kerith Burke asked about his reaction to questions about Kevin Durant’s heart.
“F— them, f— them,” Cousins said at Scotiabank Arena following the Warriors’ 106-105 win.
The reigning back-to-back Finals MVP made his 2019 Finals debut Monday, playing just shy of 12 minutes before injuring his Achilles and leaving Game 5.
Durant had not played since straining his calf in Game 5 of the Warriors’ second-round NBA playoff series on May 8, and scored 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting in his only action of the series. Cousins started Game 6 outside of the rotation, but was called into action after Durant’s injury. The six-time All-Star responded with 14 points off the bench, his highest total since the Warriors’ regular-season finale two months ago.
Durant’s absence reportedly caused “confusion” and “angst” among his teammates, especially as other Golden State players fought through their injuries, but the reaction of Cousins and other Warriors on Monday were much different. Warriors general manager Bob Myers was moved to tears announcing that Durant had injured his Achilles and that the forward would need an MRI on Tuesday.
Fans at Scotiabank Arena initially seemed to cheer Durant’s injury when he went down in the second quarter on Monday, before chanting “K-D” as he was helped off the court. Cousins made it clear he didn’t like the crowd’s initial reaction.
“Trash,” Cousins told reporters. “So trash. But like I said, we’re idolized as superstar athletes, not human beings. It’s always about what we can do between those lines [on the court]. That’s it. That’s all that ever matters.
“And then once we lash out and do human-type things, then we’re considered bad guys.”
He and the Warriors will play one more game at Oracle Arena on Thursday in Game 6, trailing the best-of-seven series three-games-to-two and once again facing elimination.
Curry scored 31 points, Thompson added 26 and they led a season-saving surge long after Kevin Durant was injured again to give the Warriors a 106-105 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
Devastated by the loss of Durant, the All-Stars that the Warriors had left made sure there was celebration along with their sadness, pulling out what Green thought had to be the greatest win during their run to five straight NBA Finals.
“When you’re down six with a couple minutes to go in an elimination for these guys to win a championship, we could have thrown in the towel. We could have folded, but we didn’t,” Green said. “I said it before: I’ve never seen this group fold. And that stands true still.”
Curry and Thompson, nicknamed the Splash Brothers, combined for three straight 3-pointers in the closing minutes after Toronto had taken a six-point lead with under 3 1/2 minutes remaining in front of a raucous, red-shirted crowd.
“Even going down six with three minutes left, their ball, we didn’t panic,” Thompson said. “We just do what we do.”
The Warriors lost Durant barely a quarter after getting him back but got the win, cutting Toronto’s lead to 3-2 and sending the series back to Oracle Arena for Game 6 on Thursday.
Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points for the Raptors but couldn’t get the final shot, which went to Kyle Lowry and was blocked by Green.
The two-time defending champion Warriors were minutes away from their title reign ending, having lost Durant and a 14-point lead during an emotionally exhausting game. They had controlled Leonard for three quarters, but he scored 10 straight Toronto points in the fourth and the Raptors were close to their first championship and a party that would have stretched coast to coast in Canada.
But even after everything the Warriors had lost, they still had two of the best perimeter shooters in the world on the floor. Thompson hit a 3, and Curry followed with one to tie it at 103. Golden State got it back to Thompson and the Raptors lost sight of him just long enough for the tiebreaking shot with 57 seconds to go.
Toronto cut it to one when Kyle Lowry was credited with a basket and the Raptors got a final chance when DeMarcus Cousins was called for an illegal screen. Leonard had the ball but the Warriors forced him to pass and it ended up in the corner to Lowry, but Green sprinted over to get a hand on his shot as the buzzer sounded.
“He got a piece of it, that’s what great defenders do,” Lowry said. “He got a piece of it and we’ll continue to look at it and see how we can be better for the next game.”
Cousins had 14 points for the Warriors and Green finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Golden State is the only team to lose a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals, when Cleveland came back to win in 2016.
Now the Warriors have a chance to pull off the feat themselves, but it became more difficult after Durant limped off in the second quarter after he had missed the previous nine games with a strained right calf.
“We understand the moment and I think we can rally, considering how the second half went tonight,” Curry said.
Durant, the two-time NBA Finals MVP, was attempting to dribble past Serge Ibaka early in the second quarter when he suddenly came to a stop, lost the ball and limped sideways before grabbing at his lower right calf as he fell to the court.
Fans at first cheered but then, spurred in part by some Raptors players, chanted “KD! KD!” as he was helped to the locker room area joined by Curry, Andre Iguodala and general manager Bob Myers.
Durant left the arena on crutches with what a tearful Myers said was an Achilles tendon injury and the Warriors said he would get an MRI on Tuesday.
They were initially OK without him because Cousins — who returned from injury himself in this series — came off the bench to score their next seven points before feeding Green for a layup that gave them a 48-37 lead. It got as high as 13 on Curry’s four-point play, and Golden State led 62-56 at halftime.
But eventually it would come down to Curry and Thompson, who both logged more than 41 minutes and will have to be ready to go again Thursday in what will be the final game in Oracle Arena.
Lowry had 18 points and Marc Gasol scored 17 for the Raptors, who were trying to give Canada its first championship in one of the traditional major sports since the Blue Jays won the World Series in 1993.
Fans had been waiting through on-and-off rain all day — some since Sunday — to watch at one of the outdoor watch parties that have popped up in and around Toronto. The crowd inside the arena that included hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky and former Raptors star Vince Carter thought it would witness history as Leonard powered past his defenders repeatedly in the fourth quarter.
But the Raptors needed one more basket, and the only way the local fans can see them win in person is if it goes the full seven games and Toronto wins it at home on Sunday.
“We had a chance to win a championship tonight and we didn’t do it,” guard Fred VanVleet said. “We didn’t play well enough, we didn’t execute enough down the stretch and that stings a little bit.”
Warriors: Golden State also lost Kevon Looney again after he aggravated his injury to upper body cartilage. … Durant finished with 11 points. He came in averaging 31.7 points per game in the NBA Finals, trailing only Rick Barry and Michael Jordan on the career list.
Raptors: Serge Ibaka scored 15 points and VanVleet had 11 off Toronto’s bench.
The Warriors were emotional before, during and after their Game 5 victory over the Raptors on Monday night.
The aftermath of Golden State’s win left the Dubs in a mixed state: elated at extending their season another game, but devastated by the cost it exacted.
Following the win, Warriors GM Bob Myers announced that the injury Kevin Durant suffered early in the second quarter was to his Achilles, and not the same calf injury that had kept him out for the last month.
Durant left Scotiabank Arena during the game and will undergo an MRI in the Bay Area on Tuesday, but he’s already made his first comments to the outside world during what is undoubtedly an extremely trying time. [WARNING: NSFW LANGUAGE]
Game 6 on Wednesday will represent the final game ever at Oracle Arena, and clearly, Durant is expecting a raucous atmosphere. Both he and the Warriors would much rather have him taking shots in the game, but for now, tequila will have to do.