May 1, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT
Fresh off a season that will win him Most Valuable player, Kevin Durant missed a game-tying free throw and then missed a game-winning 3-pointer in a Game 5 loss to the Grizzlies. He’s shooting 40 percent from the field and 29 percent on 3-pointers in the series.
So does Durant’s mom.
As does Russell Westbrook.
Durant actually says yes.
This is why Durant is great.* He never takes the easy way out.
The headline as intended – to reflect the Memphis series only – is pretty accurate. For a sure-fire MVP winner, Durant has been unreliable in this series.
But everyone took it to mean overall, and that’s why The Oklahoman sports editor Mike Sherman backtracked. He wasn’t apologizing for the message, just that the newspaper didn’t deliver it properly.
Durant understands the distinction, though he could have easily harped on his overall reliability. Instead, he’s taking responsibility for his play this series, and that’s a good step toward playing more reliably going forward, beginning in Game 6 tonight.
*Westbrook’s reaction is also why he’s great. I love the chip he always carries on his shoulder, the non-stop passion. How he plays on the court carried over into his response and vice versa.
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