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Apparently, even following up an NBA championship and a Finals Most Valuable Player Award with another stellar regular season, Kevin Durant is not a happy man.
At least not with the state of officiating in the NBA.
The Warriors’ All-Star forward was ejected after picking up two technical fouls from referees James Williams in Golden State’s 123-112 victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.
With the win, the defending NBA champions moved their league-best record to 38-10.
In the first half Tuesday night, Durant questioned Williams after being called for carrying the basketball on a crossover move by Williams.
“I told him he was wrong,” Durant told reporters after the game.
“I was dribbling up on the right side,” he 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.”
Durant said Williams was “trying to get me” in the second half.
“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?”
Durant was slapped with his first technical after slamming the basketball to the floor to himself with 3:24 to play in the third quarter. He was tossed after picking up his second T with 2:50 to go in the game after complaining to Williams that he was fouled on a transition layup.
Durant’s fuse is getting shorter and shorter, almost by the game. After being ejected only twice in his first 810 career games, Durant has now been tossed four times… in his last 38 games.
Ironically, the NBA’s leader in technical fouls with 11 — Golden State’s Draymond Green — attempted to calm Durant down before he picked up his second technical and was ejected.
“Yeah, the irony,” Durant said with a laugh. “I was not trying to hear that.”
Durant said he wasn’t trying to receive a second T, but he felt the need to express himself.
He said he’s going to move past this latest issue with the league’s officiating.
“I’ve got to play my games and not even worry about the refs,” Durant said. “I’m my best when I just play and not even think and focus on nothing else but what’s going on on the floor… the refs, the crowd, nothing.
“It’s on me. I said what I had to say tonight. I got through tonight. Now, don’t even worry about it, stay locked in.”
He acknowledged he needs to do a better job controlling his temper when it comes to officiating.
“I’ve got to keep my head a little bit,” he said. “But I was upset. I’m a human being too. I get upset.”
Durant said he believes Williams could now hold a grudge against him going forward.
“When we see James again, I’m sure he’ll still be in his feelings,” Durant said.