Durant: Comments were 'disrespectful'
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Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson told reporters Wednesday that Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant gets preferential treatment from referees.
"Yeah, by the calls he gets, he really gets to the line a lot, I'll tell ya," Jackson said, according to The Oklahoman's Web site.
But Durant, who didn't get a key foul call at the end of a 140-139 overtime loss to the Jazz last week, wasn't happy with Jackson suggesting he's a pampered superstar.
"Because it's taking away from what I do," Durant said, according to The Oklahoman. "That's a part of my game, getting to the free-throw line and being aggressive. If you say that I get superstar calls or I get babied by the refs, that's just taking away from how I play. That's disrespectful to me.
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"I don't disrespect nobody in this league," Durant said, according to the report. "I respect every coach, every player, everybody. I never say anything bad about anybody else or question why they do this or do that. So for them to say that about me, I don't even want to use no foul language."
Jackson might be setting the stage to get a few calls to go his way, but Durant doesn't believe it will work.
"If the refs pay attention to that and change how they call things because of that, that's terrible," Durant said, according to the newspaper. "That's terrible to the game of basketball and to us. If that happens, then [coach] Scotty [Brooks] could talk, too. Or any other coach could talk, too, just so the refs could switch everything up. But I doubt they do that.
If you say that I get superstar calls or I get babied by the refs, that's just taking away from how I play. That's disrespectful to me.” -- Kevin Durant
"They're smarter than that, and they have more skills than that as refs. So I don't really worry about it too much," he added, according to the report.
Jackson isn't the first to publicly wonder why Durant gets as many free throw attempts as he does. Celtics forward Kevin Garnett said after a 109-104 loss on March 31 to the Thunder, in which a few crucial calls went Durant's way, that playing Durant was like going up against "Michael [expletive] Jordan."
"Ever since KG said something, everybody's been questioning how I get to the line," Durant said, according to the report. "If you watch our games, you wouldn't question it. The NBA should put us on national TV more, I guess."