Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin have quickly found themselves atop the pantheon of young stars in the NBA. But after an intense game between Durant's Oklahoma City Thunder and Griffin's Los Angeles Clippers, the two forwards seem to have found themselves at odds with one another.
While the game ended in a 112-100 Clippers victory, the storyline after the game centered around Griffin's vicious dunk over Thunder center Kendrick Perkins. Yet in an interview with ESPN.com on Tuesday, Durant dismissed the play that most others were quick to call the "Dunk of the Year."
"I have no appreciation for it at all," Durant said. "It was a layup, I think. I really wasn't impressed. He finished it. So what? We've moved on."
Durant went on to justify his views on the dunk by calling Griffin "a poster child" and saying "I've got to stick up for my teammate."
It's easy to see where Durant is coming from. After all, Griffin embarrassed his teammate, and the highlight got attention across the nation.
Nevertheless, Durant is a professional athlete and losing — even in embarrassing fashion — often comes with the territory. Being resentful of an opponent's impressive feat is no way to behave, however, especially when Durant's fate as a young superstar is tied so closely to other superstars like Griffin — together, they are helping to build the future of the NBA.
Thankfully, Perkins has taken the whole thing in stride. He did not make any comment, but Thunder head coach Scott Brooks spoke on his behalf saying, "You're going to get dunked on. There's no way around it. There's a lot of tremendous athletes in this league, but it doesn't affect [Perkins]. He's going to come out and do the same thing tonight and guard the basket."