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Kevin Durant’s small show of emotion following a put-back slam earns him a technical foul (VIDEO)

Mar 21, 2014, 12:30 AM EDT

This by itself is not cause for a technical foul, but the referees in Cleveland on Thursday obviously felt differently.

Late in the first quarter of the Thunder’s win over the Cavaliers, Kevin Durant corralled an offensive rebound and went back up for the relatively pedestrian slam. After he threw it down, he took a few steps toward Anderson Varejao, and that was enough for the officials to stop play and whistle KD for the tech.

As is always the case in these situations, we don’t know what might have gone down between these two players on previous possessions, and the referees were likely just trying to gain control of a contest in its early stages. But looking at this play in a vacuum, it certainly seems as though this small display of emotion from Durant should have gone unpunished.

  1. hatesofties - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:59 AM

    The most disgusting thing about this, is the fact that refs feel they need to “control” the game. Why should refs control anything? They are suppose to call fouls as fouls, and enforce the rules of the game. Instead, more and more, they are applying the rules differently to different players, giving some guys a technical over other guys, giving the “super star treatment” to some players, and letting teams have an 8 on 5 advantage on the court. This is probably the main reason I no longer have League Pass, I used to have 2 or 3 accounts, now I have 0.

    There is no reason I, as a fan, should know a refs name, there is no reason for me to even know they are at the game. They are part of the scenery, essentially the same as the ball, rim/backboard, or court. I as a fan am not paying money to the NBA to watch refs, or see their finger prints on the game.

  2. money2long - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:07 AM

    the ref was a lebron fan

    • eugenesaxe1 - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:50 AM

      I was going to say LBJ gets more “emotional” EVERY time he’s called for a foul.

    • reesesteel23 - Mar 21, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      Yall always bringing up Lebron when the story has nothing to do with him. Yet yall complain the writer brings up Lebron.

      • redbullenergydrink - Mar 21, 2014 at 9:07 AM

        Exactly what I was thinking…

      • casualcommenter - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:00 AM

        Also, Kevin Durant isn’t exactly a player who gets “persecuted” by referees.

        Durant earns a lot of free throws (even more per game than LeBron) both by being a nightmare to defend and with his cheap “rip move” that he uses whenever a defender plays him close.

  3. theblackrook - Mar 21, 2014 at 1:55 AM

    Missed the free throw… ball don’t lie.

    • psamcool - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:15 PM


    • ranfan12 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      I heard someone say that in a game recently lol

  4. jolink653 - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:03 AM

    By itself, yes, that was an awful call and he should have missed that free throw because Ball Don’t Lie. We don’t know what came before or what led up to that play though. Luckily it didn’t influence the game too much

  5. antistratfordian - Mar 21, 2014 at 2:12 AM

    LeBron got a technical for doing the same thing after he dunked on Jason Terry. Refs don’t want players stepping towards an opponent after a dunk and mean muggin’. I suppose they think it’s taunting.

    • spthegr8 - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      ^^^ “Mean Muggin”..?? I’m impressed. You been reading your ebonic’s dictionary.??? ^^^

      • antistratfordian - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:04 PM


      • mytthor - Mar 22, 2014 at 1:37 AM

        His ebonics dictionary from 1994?

  6. sdchargerdeserter420 - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Everyone is losing sight of what’s important here…. the whistle happy ref got his 2 seconds of fame, now play can resume. Who really wants to watch a game without whistls happy refs anyways? I love thr ticky tack phantom calls that ruin the flow of the game.. that’s what we all watch for right?

    • byufan66 - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:22 AM

      I watch to see basketball why would anyone watch the game just to see the refs?

  7. void96eater - Mar 21, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Where was the unsportsmanlike conduct?

  8. psamcool - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    What a bad article. First – Durant took some steps towards Zeller not Varejao. Secondly, I dont know which game you have been following but showing emotion is allowed but not when you show it toard and opponent player. It was right call!

    • byufan66 - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:21 AM


  9. tv63 - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    I didn’t see him physically do anything wrong. They said he was running his mouth. If that was the case, it’s stupid. He doesn’t need to; he’s Kevin Durant. Enough said.

  10. reem1125 - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    The goal don’t lie. Missed Tech shot lol.

  11. william1939 - Mar 22, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    Since when does there have to be a logical reason for an NBA official to make a call. They are the worst officials, most inconsistent and totally illogical officials in any sport.

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