Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant has been fined $50,000 by the NBA for his heated exchange with actor Michael Rapaport.
NBA President of League Operations released a statement on Friday citing Durant was being fined for “using offensive and derogatory language on social media.”
The NBA announces a $50,000 fine for the Nets’ Kevin Durant after his recent exchange with the actor Michael Rapoport: pic.twitter.com/BiLBmGkLV1
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) April 2, 2021
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Durant Apologizes for His Offensive Messages
Before being fined by the NBA, Durant addressed reporters for the first time since suffering a lingering hamstring injury on February 13. He apologized for his actions.
“I’m sorry that people seen that language that I used. That’s not really what I want people to see and hear from me,” Durant said to reporters via ESPN.
“Hopefully, I can move past it and get back out on the floor.”
Kevin Durant on his social media messages with Michael Rapaport that were made public: pic.twitter.com/024CmvrEbi
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 1, 2021
The nature of the argument stemmed from Durant’s Interview with Inside the NBA after the Nets beat the Golden State Warriors on opening night.
The 2021 All-Star Game Captain was uninterested in answering Hall of Famer Charles Barkley’s question about his health.
Rapoport posted a tweet suggesting that KD should just have declined to do the interview.
In response, Durant hurled a firestorm of insults at Rapaport in his direct messages on Instagram.
I receive threats and disgusting messages DAILY, but never in my wildest dreams did I think @KDTrey5 would be among them. The 🐍 himself is now threatening me, bringing up my wife and wants to fight. This is supposed to be America’s sweetheart right? #ImDaRealMVP pic.twitter.com/l1VQfGMMRF
— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) March 30, 2021
Fans Are Ready To Cancel Rapaport
Many were upset with Rapaport’s decision to leak the screenshots of him and Durant’s heated conversation. Retired NBA player Ryan Hollins is part of that group.
“You can’t talk like you gutter, you street, you doing that and then at the same time you lawyer up and you tell on somebody,” Hollins said on Instagram live with King McClure Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson and Christian Crosby.
Others fans chimed in as well and the consensus seemed to be that Rapaport shouldn’t dish it if he can’t take it.
Michael rapaport anytime Kevin Durant breathes in his direction: pic.twitter.com/iOlNzoTyJo
— Birthright (@birth__right) April 2, 2021
Lmao Nick Young chimes in on the Kevin Durant-Michael Rapaport feud 🤣 pic.twitter.com/I68kmhq7lO
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 1, 2021
Theme song for Michael Rapaport pic.twitter.com/YVO3I2bDAf
— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) April 3, 2021
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Durant Set To Return From Injury
After missing nearly two months of play Durant could return for the Brooklyn Nets this week.
Both James Harden and Durant have been ruled out of Sunday’s matchup with the Chicago Bulls. While it is not likely to happen, Nash isn’t ruling out a Durant return for Monday when they face their crosstown rival New York Knicks.
“I’m not certain for Monday. That’s an outside possibility but I also couldn’t say he’s in any stretch probable for Monday,” Nash told reporters on Saturday via NetsDaily.
“We’ll wait and see but it does look positive that this week some time there’s a high probability that he can return.”
Durant suffered his hamstring injury during his return to Golden State in February. What was originally supposed to be a short-term injury turned into a two-month layoff for the 2014 Most Valuable Player. The Nets were not taking any risks with their superstar as he is fresh off an Achilles injury that kept him out for 18 months.
“Initially, I didn’t think it was that bad – just a regular strain. Then we got the second scan, and they say it was a little deeper than that,” Durant said to reporters on Thursday via NetsDaily.
“It was one of those things where I’m not feeling a ton of pain, but you don’t want to force one of these injuries and make it worse.”
Before the injury, Durant was making a strong case to win his second Most Valuable Player award.
On the season he is averaging 29.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game. Fans could soon be seeing what the Brooklyn Nets look like at full strength.