Just before halftime in his first game back since injuring his calf earlier this postseason, Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant went down with a similar injury in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night in Toronto.
While Durant was down on the floor, several Raptors fans throughout Scotiabank Arena started cheering and waving at him, appearing to be happy that he went down.
One Raptors fan standing courtside near Durant could be seen on the broadcast waving at him, clearly happy that he went down and was sidelined from the rest of the game.
Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, after hearing the cheers, quickly started motioning for them to stop before checking on Durant personally. He wasn’t alone, either, as players from both teams quickly joined in.
Kyle Lowry and the Warriors tell fans to stop cheering as Kevin Durant walks off with an injury. pic.twitter.com/UldE49bF22
— ESPN (@espn) June 11, 2019
Now, not every Raptors fan inside the arena participated — and Durant did receive a strong ovation and a loud “KD” chant as he was helped off the court and into the locker room.
— Tim and Sid (@timandsid) June 11, 2019
Still, cheering for a player getting injured is never a good look for fans, even if that player is on the opposing team. While it’s obviously an easier battle for the Raptors without Durant on the floor, it’ll be tough to find any true player or NBA fan celebrating his latest injury.
While he noticed fans applauding, Warriors coach Steve Kerr commended the Raptors players who quieted the crowd during the injury after the game.
“The Raptors players were telling the crowd to be quiet, out of respect, which I appreciated,” Kerr said. “Some of the fans were cheering when it happened, and I think the Raptors players understood how serious it was and they sort of quieted the crowd. There was just a couple minutes there where it all seemed so eerie and strange, and it took maybe a little bit for both teams to collect themselves.”
Warriors guard Steph Curry had a similar reaction.
“I'm very confused around that reaction,” Curry said, via USA Today. “It's not my experience with people of this city and I commend, obviously, Danny Green and Kyle Lowry, especially. I think they were the (Raptors players) that were kind of signalling to the crowd like, ‘OK, let's check each other a little bit and understand this is about an individual human being,’ and not, ‘Oh, shoot. He's out. We won the championship.’
“Like that was probably their initial thought, and you hate to see that when a guy's going through pain like that. Again, that's not my experience with this city, and I just hope that ugliness doesn’t show itself again as we go forward in this series.”
Players, fans take to social media
Players on the floor at Scotiabank Arena weren’t the only ones to take offense to those disrespecting Durant on Monday night, either.
Many instantly took to social media to condemn the action, including Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid.
Why are they cheering for his injury? Come on man #Disguting
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) June 11, 2019
Obviously he doesn’t reflect all Raptors fans, but this guy on the baseline waving goodbye to Kevin Durant ... what is wrong with you?? pic.twitter.com/DXdWu2wu3J
— Jimmy Spencer (@JimmySpencerUN) June 11, 2019
Raptors fans (or any fans) cheering an injury pic.twitter.com/3f8wIr7ClX
— Josh Hill (@jdavhill) June 11, 2019
How the Basketball Gods looking at the Raptors for cheering KD injury pic.twitter.com/Sp8AlfYHQr
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) June 11, 2019
The Raptors fans who cheered Kevin Durant's injury will have to live with the shame of that stupid choice forever. However, the display of love all of Canada has shown the Raps tonight is the true measure of the fan base.
— Adam Proteau (@Proteautype) June 11, 2019
Watching Raptors fans cheer when KD went down makes me sick.
— Garrett Stubbs (@GarrettStubbs) June 11, 2019
Man, Raptors fans cheering when KD went down is straight up classless. Gross.
— Cam 🤔 (@Summerson) June 11, 2019
— Mike Braiotta (@nystorageking) June 11, 2019
— Chris Manno (@Mann_O_Steel17) June 11, 2019
Credit to Serge Ibaka and Herbie Kuhn for telling the crowed not to cheer, as well as those in the crowd who did so. Cheers turned to respectful applause, and a brief KD chant.
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) June 11, 2019
All fan bases have representatives who sometimes do terrible things. Folks are responding to this situation with Raptors fans cheering KD's injury because people went out of their way to say Canada didn't have THOSE fans. Yeah they do. And we all just saw it.
— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) June 11, 2019
— Vadim Lavrusik (@Lavrusik) June 11, 2019
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