Kevin Durant Comments on Reggie Jackson's Celebration After Thunder vs. Pistons

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2016

Mar 19, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) brings the ball up court against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Oklahoma City defeats Indiana 115-111. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma City Thunder star forward Kevin Durant had strong words for Reggie Jackson's attitude after the Detroit Pistons beat the Thunder, 88-82, on Tuesday night.  

Erik Horne of the Oklahoman passed along Durant's comments Thursday:

Erik Horne @ErikHorneOK

Kevin Durant on Reggie Jackson's behavior after the Pistons' win: "It was bush league." https://t.co/fwOUSevZja

"Jumping up and down, running around ... I understand you helped them win the game, but our whole team didn't play," Durant said, per Horne. "We'd have beat the hell out of you if we did, you know? I don't wanna talk like that, but it pissed me off. What can I do about it? Some guys are who they are. They won the game. Congrats."

Here is the celebration in question:

Durant, 27, was held out of the game and spoke about that decision as well, per Horne:

They know I don't like sitting out ... So they came to me and were like, 'Bro, I know you don't want to sit this one out, but I think it will help.' So I was like, 'You don't have to ask me that, if you want me to sit out, I'll sit out.' I definitely wanted to play. I wanted to play against Detroit for sure, but ... you know. It's Detroit. You know, who cares about Detroit?

The Pistons are 40-35 and currently seventh in the Eastern Conference as they battle for a playoff spot. 

Durant's comments come after his teammate and fellow superstar, Russell Westbrook, also blasted Jackson.

“I thought it was some real (bleep) for our team and our organization," Westbrook, 27, told reporters after the game, per Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press. "I don’t like it at all. But it is what it is. We’ll see him down the line. We’ll take care of that when we get there.”

When asked if hard feelings were involved in the incident, Westbrook didn't hold back.

“Doesn’t really matter to be honest with you,” Westbrook said. “He wasn’t changing nothing for us. Obviously he didn’t want to be here. He’s at a better spot. He’s not doing too much of a difference if you ask me. He’s gonna stay over in Detroit. We gonna stay over here and see them next year.”

Jackson, 25, spent his first 3.5 seasons in the NBA with the Thunder but was traded in the 2014-15 in a three-way deal that landed the Thunder Enes Kanter. There's been bad blood between Jackson, Westbrook and Durant since, as Jackson essentially demanded a trade from the team and didn't leave on positive terms.

Jackson even reportedly refused to play despite being cleared by doctors at one point following an injury, saying he probably wouldn't play that night before throwing down a windmill dunk on the court in front of reporters.

So yes, there is plenty of subtext to consider when analyzing both Jackson's celebration and Durant and Westbrook's response to it. Would Jackson have celebrated in such a manner against another team?


Would Durant and Westbrook have responded with such vitriol to a different player celebrating in such a manner late in a game? 

Probably not.

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