The NBA announced on Friday that Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant has been fined $15,000 for "using profane language during a media interview and failing to comply with an NBA Security interview as part of the review process." Durant's comments came after the team's loss to the Portland Trail Blazers earlier this week.
At one point during his postgame press conference, Durant was asked about the Nets' recent schedule problems. Due to COVID-19, they had multiple games postponed in December. One of them, a matchup with the Blazers, was rescheduled to Monday and forced the Nets into a back-to-back in which they played in Brooklyn on Sunday and then again all the way across the country in Portland barely 24 hours later. With that make-up game crammed into schedule, the Nets suddenly had four games in five nights and were traversing thousands of miles.
Durant dismissed the issue and used some profanity to make his point.
"Who cares?" Durant said. It's a part of the game, it's a part of who we are. We been in the league. We got young dudes. Who cares? They supposed to get up to play. They throw s--- at you, you gotta figure out how to work around it. We still had an opportunity to win this game. Who cares?"
"That's what championship teams go through is a little adversity," Durant continued. "They play little games throughout the season to help you get better. It's an opportunity for us to do the same thing. I'm not making no excuses about no flights, or our schedule. Everybody's schedule is f----- up, you know what I'm saying?"
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His comments weren't offensive or egregious by any means, but the league doesn't want players saying words like that when speaking with the media. And in any case, the bigger issue seems to be that Durant didn't want to meet with the league to discuss the situation.
As for the schedule situation, it's no surprise that Durant refused to make excuses; that's not the type of player he's been throughout his career. But even if he won't admit it, things have been a grind for the Nets lately, and it doesn't help that they've often been playing shorthanded. They've lost six of their last nine games, and have dropped into a tie for second place in the Eastern Conference at 26-15.