Durant fined, but NBRA accepts his apology for ref comments
NBA.com Global on Jan 26, 2018 08:05 AM
FILE - SALT LAKE CITY, UT - MAY 6: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors looks on during the game against the Utah Jazz during Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 6, 2017 at vivint.SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
NBA.com staff report
As far as the National Basketball Referees Association is concerned, All-Star Kevin Durant is forgiven for his words.
Durant accused referee James Williams of targeting him for an ejection during Tuesday's (Wednesday, PHL time) game against the New York Knicks. Durant was ejected from the game with 2 minutes, 50 seconds by Williams.
A day later, the Golden State Warriors' star took a moment to reflect on his words and apologized to Williams. Durant said he was behaving like a 'jerk' and said he plans to say sorry in person the next time he sees Williams and vowed to handle himself more respectfully next time.
In a tweet today from the NBRA's account, the organization said Durant's apology is accepted.
"Apology accepted. This is the kind of common ground we hope to achieve when the NBRA meets with @TheNBPA next month," the tweet read.
"I wish I had handled that better obviously but it was kind of a heat-of-the-moment for me. I could be better. It was a great learning experience for me though," Durant said after Wednesday's practice. "... I wasn't getting picked on last night. I was being a diva last night. I've got to just own up to it. I watched it when I got home. I was wondering why he was coming at me so hard but then I watched the plays I was like, `Yeah, I looked like a jerk out there.' It was bad. Luckily we won and we can move past it and I kind of owned up to it. I'll be better next time."
Throughout the 2017-18 season, tension between officials and players have been high. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said earlier this month in London that the NBPA and NBA referees are planning to meet at All-Star weekend to discuss issues between them. Additionally, Silver said he is listening to complaints from both sides.
"I'm listening to the players' complaints, and I'm also listening to the referees' complaints," he said. "And I'd say although it seems to be getting a fair amount of attention, we've looked back at the data from over the years and there haven't been a greater number of ejections or a greater number of technicals.
"There is nothing aberrational happening in terms of the calls on the floor, but it's something that people are talking about. I recognize that."
Despite the apology though, the league fined Durant $15,000 for his public criticism of officiating.