Oakland (KRON) – The Golden State Warriors held practice at the Rauteken Performance Center in downtown Oakland Wednesday following their win against the New York Knicks the night before. Kevin Durant was ejected in that contest after he argued with an official in the second half. Durant now has more ejections this season (4) than he has had his entire career prior (1).
Durant spoke with the media Tuesday night and said he believes the official had an agenda against him, resulting in the ejection. It hasn’t been an uncommon theme this season. The players and officials league-wide have had chemistry issues all season long.
“I think human nature is going to involved in any interaction between the officials and the players. It’s on both parties to have a level of respect. Kevin knows he should not have said what he said after the game but it’s been such a big topic this year,” Steve Kerr said. “It does feel like there is a little bit more relationship stuff than there used to be. I don’t know why that is but the best officials to me are the ones who will talk to me and I also know they deserve my respect.”
However, Durant admitted he was at fault here. He said his ejection was warranted after he watched the whole sequence again.
“I was being an asshole. I was being a jerk. That one foul at the end wasn’t a foul and I shouldn’t have slammed the ball like I did. I can go back and say I was being a jerk last night. I deserve whatever the league is going to throw at me. I wish I handled that better obviously but it was kind of the heat of the moment. I can be better. It was a great learning experience for me, though.”
One player who hasn’t caught the eye of the officials lately is the guy who tried to stop Durant from arguing with the official Wednesday night, Draymond Green. Kerr praised the All-Star forward for his attitude this year.
“He’s been fantastic. Draymond has found that balance of competing with that edge that we need without going too overboard. He hasn’t going overboard at all. I don’t remember his last technical but he’s found a really nice nitch and I think maybe that’s Kevin’s next step as well.”
“I think Draymond is in a really good place right now, on and off the court,” Kerr said. “He looks happy and I think being a father has changed him in some regard. But he’s very content right now and that’s what we like to see.”
Coach Kerr wasn’t the only one to notice the difference on Green’s demeanor.
“He’s locked in, I guess. He’s definitely staying out of trouble I feel,” Durant said. “He’s still playing with his same fiery, feisty self but he’s staying out of all that extra stuff like I got into last night. He’s just playing his game and it looks beautiful out there.’
The Warriors host the Minnesota Timberwolves Thursday night at Oracle Arena.
-Omri Casspi says he felt under the weather during practice on Wednesday. He was the last player to leave the practice court.
-Steve Kerr says there is “no pressure” on Stephen Curry to draft the Warriors on his All-Star team and that they were all selected for a reason. He expects Curry to have fun with it.
-Kerr is excited to take on a Timberwolves team who’s played much better as of late. The coach acknowledged Jimmy Butler as one of the better players in the league and said he’s now fully into the Timberwolves offense, as opposed to earlier in the year when he was getting used to the team.
-Kevin Durant praised Patrick McCaw for his ability to handle the inconsistent playing time he’s received this season. He said he wants the young player to look for his shot more when he is on the court.
-Durant also said that he learned how to become a better playmaker when the Oklahoma City Thunder traded James Harden. When asked if he likes to pass the ball more than shoot, his answer was simple: “nah.”
Make sure you tune into KRON4 Hoop Session for all of your local Bay Area basketball coverage, featuring the Warriors and more. The show airs on February 17 at 11 p.m. on KRON 4.
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