The fallout from the Kevin Durant injury in Game 5 isn’t going to go away, at least not immediately, because yesterday was an off day with no availability, it’s a story with some legs and, yeah, it’s low hanging fruit.
Two points, if I may.
The fan reaction was, in the immediate moment, appalling as we mentioned right off the bat.
Thankfully, it dissipated quickly at the urging of, among others, Serge Ibaka, Kyle Lowry and the sensible fans in the building who did not react quickly and emotionally and so shockingly badly. They knew something serious had happened to one of the game’s great players and I’d like the reaction after that realization – the applause, the genuine concern, the chanting of “KD, KD, KD” – is more representative of the true nature of Raptors fans.
It’s been my history that that is indeed how the vast majority of fans treat players great and otherwise and I would hope when all the nonsense is forgotten, that the enduring memory will be the sense of sorrow fans felt at seeing a great player injured.
But, still, it’s undeniable that, in the arena at least, there were some who did indeed cheer when Durant first fell and that’s shameful. Some may have been cheering the play going other way but I was there, I heard it, too many cheered the injury rather than the Raptors.
That’s brutal and while it’s well and good and quite impressive that the fans sent him off the court under a thunder of cheers, it happened.
It happened probably because some knuckleheads got caught up in the moment and over-reacted and that speaks to a greater issue of over-reaction that dogs society as a whole but, still, it hurt to hear.
Many fans I’ve spoken to in the interim greatly regret what happened and how it happened and how they are being portrayed.
It’s heartening to see this, a gofundme thing to raise money for Durant’s charitable foundation and I hope the end takeaway from this sordid event is that Toronto fans did the right thing.
Consider a donation, it’s a good thing to think about.
I think one of the great fallacies – and it tells me something, although I’m not sure what precisely it is – is that the Warriors somehow “forced” Durant to play.
The idiocy of that is beyond the pale.
Forget for a second that they denied Klay Thompson the chance to play in Game 3 when he absolutely wanted to. To think the Durant and his family and his agents and his advisors would somehow be told to do something against his wishes at this stage in his career is ridiculous. In fact, given what could have been, and I guess still is, ahead of him, I thought for sure he’d have people in his ear telling him to shut it down and let the summer unfold as it would have.
He didn’t, the return to the court was unquestionably a collaborative decision and it went badly, as badly as it could have. Everyone assumes risk when they play and if you’re going to wait for the best players to be 100 per cent healthy to let them play, it’s never going to happen. Heck, Kyle Lowry should probably be laid up after thumb surgery and maybe he should have had a back procedure in the season, Klay Thompson probably shouldn’t be playing and Kevin Looney can’t lift his arm over his head and DeMarcus Cousins can barely run. Fred VanVleet’s hurt, everyone’s hurt. The risk to them all is real.
Durant played because the very best medical minds of a professional sports franchise said he could and his team and advisors and friends and family agreed with that assessment.
It sucks, what happened to him. Sometimes, life sucks.
You must have been as exhausted yesterday as I was because you decline all invitations to play in the weekend mailbag.
Totally understandable but let’s be better today, shall we? It’s email@example.com like it always is and you drop me a line.
I’m not saying we’re at a fancy, expensive hotel that the NBA has us in for this leg of the trip but I saw a sign that says it costs $80 US a day to park your car and I just spent $7.73 US for a large, black coffee in the lobby.
And the coffee’s nothing special.
I don’t usually pay attention to TV ratings – I think the system is flawed because it doesn’t take into account either groups watching in one of a billion saloons that show big-time sports events and they don’t include streaming numbers and I’m told that’s a thing these days – but, man, that number for Game 5 was startling.
Averaging 6. 4 million and topping out at 13.4 million is astonishing. Biggest TV audience for any show of any kind in this calendar and broadcast year, biggest basketball audience by almost two million and bigger than either the Bat Flip Game or Game 6 of Jays-Royals.
That’s impressive and who knows what they’ll get for a Game 7 at 8 p.m. on Father’s Day? Or even Game 6 tomorrow.
And, you know what? I have no time for the ‘whatabouters’ who say, ‘hey, if it was the pucks’ and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That’s a tiresome and tiring discussion perpetuated by a class of slowly dying off Canadian sports fans who feel threatened.
I’m extremely happy for the TV folks who’ve worked hard to build an audience, I’m extremely happy for NBA Canada and I hope they bask in it right now and that they blank out the rest of the nonsense like I am.
Get even more Raptors analysis in your inbox with Doug Smith’s email newsletter. Sign up for it here.
I still object to the existence of the Last Two Minutes Report and you should do until the do The Last 48 Minutes Report so I refuse to get at all excited about the “Gasol was fouled” ruling yesterday.
Nothing, folks, is linear in a game and if is fouled and does shoot FTs down three and makes two and there’s still 59 seconds or whatever left, who knows how it ultimately play out.
You cannot get too wrapped up in it.
Another journey on the high-falutin’ charters, with snacks of every description to start, a nice beef kabob-rice pilaf lunch (the beef was too well done but whaddya gonna do?), the requisite Haagen Dazs and fresh cookies and wireless that’s better than my hotel’s.
If this thing ends Thursday and I have to fly back commercial on Friday, I don’t know how I’m going to do it.
Full credit to orginal post, courtesy of: https://www.thestar.com/sports/doug_smiths_sports_blog/2019/06/12/tiny-faction-of-raptors-fans-soil-reputation-of-good-ones.html