Kevin Durant explains why he turned away from Russell Westbrook's free throw: 'I think I’m just bad luck'

Dan Devine
May 16, 2014
Los Angeles Clippers v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Five
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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 13: Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder sits on the court as Russell Westbrook makes three free throws against the Los Angeles Clippers to take the lead in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 13, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

A photograph of Kevin Durant sitting with his back to the action on the opposite end of the Chesapeake Energy Arena court as Russell Westbrook took three critical late-game free throws in the final seconds of Game 5 became something of a viral sensation in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City Thunder's huge Tuesday win, because it seemed kind of amazing that the newly minted Most Valuable Player — a cool, calm, collected and confident customer — would feel nervous to the point of not being able to watch his All-Star running buddy step to the stripe. As OKC prepared to knock off the Los Angeles Clippers in Thursday's Game 6, Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman asked Durant what was up with that ... and apparently, we just haven't been paying close enough attention late in close Thunder games:

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 [Washington] Redskins game we lose. Every time I watch a [University of] 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.

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You did that in Game 4 of the Memphis [Grizzlies] series when Reggie [Jackson] 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.

Stands to reason. Don't mess with a winning streak, you know?

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Dan Devine is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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