Kevin Durant explained to Darnell Mayberry why he couldn't watch Russell Westbrook's late-game free throws in Game 5 Tuesday. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Kevin Durant couldn’t watch as Russell Westbrook stepped to the free throw line for three fouls shots with 6.4 seconds remaining in the Thunder’s 105-104 win in Game 5 on Tuesday night. And so he turned his back at the far end of the court and copped a squat while Westbrook was calmly sinking the game-winning foul shots.
Two days later, following the Thunder’s morning shootaround in Beverley Hills, Calif., Durant on Thursday explained why he turned away.
Q: What can you tell us about not being able to watch the free throws that Russ took at the end?
A: I’ve been doing that all year, especially late in the games. It’s not like I don’t trust my guys to make the free throws. I think I’m just bad luck. Every time I go to a Redskins game we lose. Every time I watch a Texas game we lose. Every time I watch something it’s not going the way I want it to go. So I have to turn my head.
You did that in Game 4 of the Memphis series when Reggie was at the line. What was more nerve-racking, Reggie’s or Russell’s?
Both of them were the same, I think, because the game was on the line. But I trust my teammates, all of them. It might have gave people mixed signals but I don’t know, it’s just something I always did.
Will you do it again? If it comes to it, will you turn away again?
Yeah. I mean, it worked.
Are you watching the videoboard, or are you waiting for the crowd’s reaction?
I’m just waiting on the crowd’s reaction. I guess it’s just moreso I’ve always done it. In the regular season, playoffs, no matter what, I’ve always done it. But it’s nothing against my teammates. I’ve heard a lot the last few days about it. But it’s nothing against my teammates. I don’t know. It’s just something I’ve always done.
Have you seen some of the internet pictures out there of you sitting on the beach and stuff like that?
(Laughs). Yeah. Photoshop is definitely taking over. But it is what it is, man. All I was concerned about was the free throws going in. I’m glad they did. You can do whatever you want after that.
Here are a few of the funnier memes that hit the internet following Durant’s now famous sit on the court.