Canada is often known as a country of hospitality, but some fans in attendance were anything but that after Kevin Durant’s injury in Game 5 of the NBA finals. A chorus of cheers was audible after Durant had to be helped off the court upon reinjuring his calf.
Klay Thompson was standing next to Durant after the injury and had words with a fan that was waving bye to KD. The Raptors players motioned to the crowd to stop the booing. Durant was greeted by members of the Raptors team on his way to the locker room. Durant was heard uttering an expletive as he walked toward the tunnel to receive medical attention, but he appeared to be directing the frustration at the injury itself rather than the fans.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was optimistic that Durant could be a difference maker as the team tried to come back from a 3-1 deficit.
“Even without having played, he’s still a huge threat. Just his mere presence makes a huge difference for us,” Kerr said, per CBC. “We’ll start him and play him in short bursts and see how he responds physically, see if his wind is OK, and as the game goes, we’ll try to figure it out from there.”
The Cheers Eventually Turned Into a “KD” Chant
Credit the Raptors players for diffusing the situation. After the cheers were heard, some members of the crowd turned the situation positive by chanting “KD” as he exited the court. The Starters’ Tas Melas described the situation.
“What a wild scene: Raptors fans cheer as Kevin Durant goes down, thankfully decide to turn those cheers in to a ‘KD! KD!’ chant as Durant got help to tunnel. Steph Curry left Warriors bench to cross court and join KD in locker room,” Melas tweeted.
Raptors fans are getting roasted on social media, but it is important to note that the cheers were not everyone in the crowd. Durant received far from a warm welcome during shootaround as well.
Cabbie Richards offered a bit of humor on Twitter to try to diffuse the tense situation.
“The most Canadian thing ever. Kevin Durant injures his achilles. Crowd cheers loudly. As he hobbles off the court, the crowd apologizes by cheering in support as he’s helped to the locker room. Then, a ‘KD’ chant as he exits the court. Mean for 2 secs and immediately apologize,” Richards tweeted.
Durant Targeted a Game 5 Return
During the ABC broadcast, Mark Jackson noted that Durant and the Warriors were always targetting a Game 5 return. While the team was vague about Durant’s timeline during the series, it appears the plan all along was for Durant to play in Game 5. Unfortunately, Durant returned too quickly from the strained calf injury.