Kevin Durant has it all. He just won the NBA title with the Warriors, and he made his decision to join Golden State last year as a free agent seem like the wise choice in pursuit of a championship. This summer was supposed to be a chill one for Durant to bask in being named NBA Finals MVP.
Instead, he’s been preparing for training camp by acting like a jerk.
Granted, Durant was the victim of some over-the-top ridicule last summer when he cut to the front of the line to get on a championship team in Golden State. But ever since his jersey was unfairly burned in effigy in Oklahoma City, Durant has been too sensitive. This week, he accidentally tweeted from his verified account, in the third person, how he didn’t like playing for the Thunder and head coach Billy Donovan and how he couldn’t win a championship “with those cats.”
Durant’s tweeting — and then deleting — caused some to wonder if he’s so thin-skinned that he has a separate account for clapping back at his haters and just forgot to log off before posting the comments on his own verified Twitter page.
“I look like an idiot,” Durant later admitted. “My peers are going to look at me like an idiot. All the jokes — bring ’em. I deserve it.”
Durant is so sensitive to the haters out there, he authorized the Nike shoes that bear his name to feature soles with popular criticisms he’s heard like “cheat code,” “follower,” and “soft.” Just when you’d think Durant let his play in the Finals silence those critics, he has to bring up all the trash they talked again with these shoes. Let it go, man.
Durant also recently clashed with teammate Steph Curry in a petty spat about sneakers (“Nobody wants to play in Under Armours,” he said).
“I told him that he has a certain opinion based on his experience growing up in the Nike business,” Curry said amid the most childish NBA beef in recent memory. “But when it comes to what I’m trying to do with Under Armour, and what the Curry brand means and what Under Armour basketball means, that statement does not ring true at all.”
Durant’s tweets made him look like an idiot, but behaving like a child also makes Durant seem like a jerk, too.
This must be why they call it garbage time.
Mike Francesa rightly ripped Penn State head coach James Franklin this week after he called a timeout in the final seconds of a blowout win and appeared to ice Georgia State’s kicker. Brandon Wright hit the first one, but after the timeout, the kicker missed the second attempt and Franklin got the shutout win.
Francesa was not happy about that and he was right. Why the hell would Franklin call a timeout there? Why would he attempt to ice the kicker on a meaningless play in a knockout win? Franklin later admitted he was not trying to mess with the kid.
“You know how that whole thing played out, so to be very clear: I was not icing anyone,” Franklin said. “I want to be as clear as I possibly can be.”
Instead, Franklin wanted to block the kick, he said. Problem was, he had his fourth-team block unit out there and they didn’t know where to line up. So he called a timeout at the very last second, got the right people out there, and the kid wound up missing the kick anyway.
The coach said if you can’t understand playing all out to the end of the game like that, if you can’t understand his wanting to preserve a lopsided shutout win on your home turf, “then you won’t ever understand me and you won’t ever understand us.”
“Whether it’s the first play of the game or the last play of the game, if we’re losing or winning, if it’s raining or it’s sunny, we are going to fight for every inch and every yard on the field and for every second on the clock,” Franklin said.
Playing hard is part of the game, yes. But so is sportsmanship. Being a bad winner is always worse than being a sore loser in sports, and that’s how Franklin came off this week. Would it have really mattered if Penn State won 56-3 instead of 56-0?
“It’s 56-0, the kid kicked a field goal with 11 seconds left and you didn’t let it count,” Francesa said. “Because you’re a jerk, that’s why!”
Back afta this.
PUT IN THE RAPIST
Garbage time isn’t limited to questionable calls made by unscrupulous coaches. It’s also the time of the game when Youngstown State plays its resident convicted rapist.
A few weeks ago, we told you about Ma’lik Richardson, a defensive end who walked on to the Youngstown State football team after he was convicted of rape in high school in 2013. Initially, the school said Richardson could be a member of the team but could not play. It felt like a lame punishment and maybe trying to appease thousands of people who signed a petition looking to bar Richardson from the team.
The school said Richardson could practice but not play this year, he took the school to court, and now Richardson can play for at least two weeks.
Last week, a federal appeals court said the school can’t stop Richardson from playing. And so, in the third quarter of a blowout win against Central Connecticut, Richardson entered the game. He played the rest of the game and Youngstown State made off with an easy 59-9 win.
Richardson’s status for the remainder of the season will be decided in court later this month. But in addition to getting a spot on the team back, Richardson is also seeking reimbursement for his attorney fees and unspecified damages.
That’s right. A convicted rapist is not only using the system to fight for a spot on a college football team, he’s also using it to try to leverage money out of the school that was willing to give him a second chance despite his troubling past.
Now that’s a jerk with quite a pair.