Before the Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Denver Nuggets on March 27, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers name-dropped Phoenix Suns superstar Kevin Durant in a fiery rant.
Rivers said the NBA is in a great place and that Durant is one of the best players in the game.
“It’s like we can’t celebrate people,” Rivers said. “The league is in a great place. It’s in an amazing place. You’ve got Joel Embiid and Joker (Nikola Jokic), two centers, in a non-center league, dominating the league. You’ve got Giannis, and I always put him as a whatever, because we don’t know what [position] Giannis is, but he’s one of the best players in the league. Jayson Tatum is playing unbelievable. Kevin Durant, if he wasn’t hurt. You can just keep going. You can like them all, and you can actually not like one because you love the other one. But you don’t have to hate on anybody. I think we just need to get back to judging whatever your flavor is, and I don’t think you have to hate the other one, for sure.”
Durant is averaging 29.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 5.2 assists this season with the Brooklyn Nets and Suns. The two-time Finals MVP is shooting 56.6% from the field, 38.6% from beyond the arc and 93.1% from the free-throw line.
Kevin Durant Will Play Against the Timberwolves
Durant will play on March 29 against the Minnesota Timberwolves after missing 10 games with a left ankle injury, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. KD slipped in pregame warmups on March 8 and sprained his ankle at the Footprint Center.
Durant is averaging 26.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists in three games with the Suns. The one-time MVP is shooting 69.0% overall, 53.8% from 3 and 88.2% from the charity stripe. Phoenix is 3-0 with Durant in the lineup and 40-35 overall on the season.
Suns star shooting guard Devin Booker played well with Durant. Book averaged 36.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists alongside Durantula.
“He’s unstoppable,” Booker said about Durant on March 21. “He just understands the game. He’s been doing this his whole entire life at the highest level, and even when you watch him do it, he just seems unfazed and unbothered by any type of situation that he’s thrown in.”
Charles Barkley Continues to Call Kevin Durant Sensitive
Suns icon Charles Barkley once again called Durant “sensitive,” this time on March 28 with Bickley & Marotta on Arizona Sports.
“He is sensitive,” Barkley told Bickley & Marotta. “It’s weird. I said it for three or four years now, I’m not sure why he reacted to it again. I don’t care where it goes. He’s a great, great player. I think he’s a good guy, too. He is sensitive and I’m not worried about it. I don’t even think about it.”
Barkley dubbed Durant “very sensitive” during an interview with CBS on March 26, which prompted Durant to fire back at the Hall of Famer on Twitter. Durant and Barkley will likely never be on good terms.
Barkley, who led the Suns to the 1993 Finals, told Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on “All The Smoke” back in February that Durant has to win a title without the Golden State Warriors to “get the old heads’ respect.” Durant joined the Warriors in the summer of 2016 after Golden State won an NBA record 73 games during the 2015-16 season. Golden State won back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018.
“KD is a great, great player. He is a great, great player.” Barkley said about Durant. “He’s sensitive, 100% sensitive. But what I said and I’ll stick by it: KD is a great, great player, but he’s going to have to win a championship without the Warriors to get the old heads’ respect.”