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Sports

Raptors Fans Skewered by Players and Announcers for Reaction to Kevin Durant Injury

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After Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant went down with what turned out to be an Achilles injury in the second quarter of Monday night’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Toronto fans cheered as he was helped off the court.

They weren’t cheers of support — at least not initially — and that reaction from the crowd at Scotiabank Arena has angered many NBA fans and players, some of whom spoke out after the game and on social media.

“You don’t like to hear the fans cheering,” ABC’s play-by-play man Mike Breen said during the telecast.

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“I’m surprised by that, and the players are telling them not to be doing that,” Jeff Van Gundy added.

Raptors players — including Danny Green, Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry — told the home crowd to pipe down and not cheer the injury.

Despite the loss of their superstar, the Warriors won the game 106-105 to close the series gap to 3-2.

Steph Curry, who had a game-high 31 points, expressed his disappointment with the fans in Toronto.

Were the Raptors fans out of line in cheering Durant's injury?

“I’m very confused around that reaction,” Curry said in the postgame news conference. “It’s not my experience with the people of this city, and I commend Danny Green and Kyle Lowry especially. I think they were the ones that were kind of signaling to the crowd to like, let’s check ourselves a little bit and understand this is about an individual, a human being and not, ‘Oh shoot, he’s out, he’s hurt, we won the championship.’

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“That was probably their initial thought, and you hate to see that when a guy is going through pain like that. Again, that’s not my experience with this city, and I just hope that ugliness doesn’t show itself again as we go forward in this series.”

Durant will be evaluated Tuesday, but Warriors GM Bob Myers confirmed in the postgame news conference what many expected.

“It’s an Achilles injury,” Myers said. “I don’t know the extent of it. … He’ll have an MRI tomorrow.”

Durant had been making his first appearance since he suffered a calf strain in Game 5 of the Warriors’ second-round series against the Houston Rockets. He had 11 points in 11 minutes before getting injured early in the second quarter.

Other Golden State players also spoke out about the fan reaction.

“Trash. So trash,” Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins said. “But like I said, we’re known on the outer lines as superstar athletes, not human beings. It’s always about what we can do between those lines. That’s it. That’s all that ever matters.”



After they were told by the players not to cheer the injury, Toronto fans started chanting “KD!, KD!” — but it was too little, too late.

“It’s bulls—,” Draymond Green told USA Today after the game.

Players watching at home reacted as well, including Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.

Houston Texas star J.J. Watt even chimed in.

“Major props to the Raptors players for getting the situation under control. Cheering for an injury is unbelievable, no matter who you’re a fan of or what team you’re pulling for,” Watt tweeted.

The series moves back to Oakland for Game 6, where the Warriors have a chance to even it at 3-3. But it’s apparent they will have to do it without Kevin Durant.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
Location
Massachusetts
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Sports




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