NBA

Why wasn't Kevin Durant called out?

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In the media, players pouting, or apparently pouting is something we like to latch on to because it makes for a good story, and often times it creates the narrative of a 'bad guy', which in its own right sells papers, gets hits on websites, and eyes on television screens.

While there are other means of constructing sports villains, this one has been particularly useful in painting players. who've already been labeled trouble makers, as babies.

Sometimes though, the narrative can be played differently, depending on weather the player has priors, either on or off the field.

Here, is where an apparently pouting Kevin Durant, sits. On the court, with his team having the opportunity to win a critical game five, and given the right outcome, at the very center of controversy.

Of course Russell Westbrook saved the day, and that's part of the reason Durant wound up with a pass.

KD didn't address having his back to the free throw attempts in the post game press conference, but its been suggested as a multitude of things, from superstition to nervouness.

There has, however been a lack of suggestion that he was pouting because he didn't get to take the game winning shot, or that his 6-for-22 shooting night had him so frustrated that he didn't want to mentally participate in the game's deciding moment. 

Durant has consistently fed  the narrative of being an unselfish, likable player, and while that may be who he is, it's also a part of the reason, along with the fact that the Thunder won the game, that he hasn't felt the wrath of the media in the wake of this stunning photo.

Late last season the Dallas Cowboys' Dez Bryant decided he wanted no part of the waning moments of a loss to the Green Bay Packers and in January of 2005, then-Minnesota Viking Randy Moss had a similar idea in a game against Washington.

Both players were booed loudly by the media for deserting their teams on the field, and while Durant did not make his way to an early shower, this photo captures some of the feeling and energy snapped in the images of Bryant and Moss making early exits.

But again, the narrative of nice guy, and the fact that the Thunder won are both on Durant's side when it comes to the perception of the MVP, but it may also be that he's considered to be somewhat of a winner. 

While he hasn't captured a title, his MVP carries respect throughout media circles, and its recentness can't be discounted.

When sports figures are perceived as winners, it helps sweep things under the rug, when considering the master narrative about who they are in the public eye.  

Bill Belichick famously walked off the field at Super Bowl XLII early, to some media criticism, but he was partially spared because of his three prior championships, and also overshadowed by his undefeated team losing. 

Durant will continue to get a pass and be a media darling, unless it takes him some time to win a championship, because at some point he'll become the guy who can't get it done if the Thunder don't win one soon, and until then, he'll continue to get by, without question, for puzzling moments like the one pictured above.

Topics:
Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant
NBA Playoffs
NBA

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