Kevin Durant has told ‘entitled’ fans to ‘shut up and watch the game’ because they take the NBA ‘for granted’ – and called tanking ‘smart business’ as the league battles for a possible No. 1 pick is Victor Wembanyama
Kevin Durant criticized ‘entitled’ fans in a newly published interview as he tries to keep the Nets near the top of the Eastern Conference.
Brooklyn turned their season around with a 12-1 record in December, and they currently sit just 1.5 games back of the first place Celtics where Durant has a career-best field goal percentage (56.8).
But in a discussion with ESPN, the Nets star said he thinks fans take the NBA ‘for granted’ because they don’t see the hardship and travel between the games they attend.
Kevin Durant is averaging a highly-efficient 29.9 points per game this season for the Nets
“The fans have become more entitled than anything else,” Durant said, responding to the notion that fans might question the effort in a typical regular season game.
‘So they start questioning our motives for the game, or how we approach the game. Those who ask — like who are you? Just shut up and watch the game tonight. We went as hard as we wanted to go. We go as hard as our bodies allow us to go at this point.
‘They only see us when the games come, but the travel, the practices, the shootarounds — we’re constantly moving. So every game is not going to be a high-intensity playoff game.’
The Nets have been much improved since Jacque Vaughn took over for Steve Nash
While every team has nights where the slog of the regular season gets to them, the Nets have shown a renewed commitment to winning under Jacque Vaughn.
The team has gone 23-8 since he took over after seven games, and his detail-oriented approach seems different from the Steve Nash days.
Durant reportedly asked for Nash to be fired in the offseason, while he and teammate Kyrie Irving publicly praised Vaughn’s ability to improve his effort on the boards and his short streak of calling timeouts.
‘My whole thing is like — do we, do we care about the process? And that’s one thing I know people enjoy here, grinding. So that’s the most important thing for me,’ Durant said of his outlook on the summer.
‘Titles and things come with the process where you — how you prepare. It was more so, “Alright, shall we rehearse? Shall we pay more attention to detail?” Not just everyone, all of us, including me. Is that to be preached to us every day?’
Under Vaughn, the Nets have greatly cleaned up their defense and rebounding, with their ninth-best defensive rating putting them in the conversation as legitimate contenders.
Victor Wembanyama is a massive 7-foot-2 with the handles and shooting ability of a guard
However, most teams will not have realistic title hopes this summer, and the usual race at the bottom of the standings – and potentially the top of the draft – will be even more feverish this season with the Victor Wembanyama generation that awaits a lucky team.
The ultra-competitive Durant isn’t opposed to that, and calls tanking ‘smart business’ for some teams.
‘I don’t see a problem with it, because every year only a few teams can win it,’ he said.
‘So the rest of the league is trying to figure out where they are. And that’s pretty smart business if you’re a team and you know you’re not going to be a playoff team or play-in team, you might as well try to play for [the No. 1 pick].’
The Nets’ 12-game win streak was snapped by Chicago on Wednesday, though it wasn’t Durant’s fault as he had 44 points in the loss.
They’ll look to get back on track against a Zion Williamson-less Pelicans team on Friday.