TORONTO (CBS/AP) — Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid and other NBA stars are slamming Toronto Raptors fans for cheering Kevin Durant’s Achilles injury during Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night. Durant got hurt on a dribble on the right wing , coming up lame on a crossover move and falling to the floor.
Durant grabbed the back of his leg, appeared to grab below the calf and more toward the Achilles area, and needed help to limp to the bench area and more help to get back to the Warriors’ locker room.
After going down, Raptors fans started to cheer, with some even waving goodbye to Durant while he was in pain on the court. Raptors players were urging fans to stop cheering Durant’s injury.
NBA players sounded off on Twitter to the Raptors fans’ reactions.
“Why are they cheering for his injury? Come on man,” Embiid tweeted, adding that it was “disgusting.”
Former Sixer Robert Covington called it “classless.”
“Smh classless to cheer for someone who got hurt. Be better than that ppl. Glad the players on both sides quieted the noise!!!” Covington said.
Bobby Portis, of the Washington Wizards, tweeted, “Raptors fans can’t cheer for a player getting hurt. That’s lame.”
Following the game, Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins called the fans who cheered Durant’s injury “trash.”
“Trash. So trash. Like I said, we’re only being idolized as superstar athletes, not human beings,” Cousins said.
An MRI will be performed Tuesday to determine the severity, but Durant’s season is clearly over and his recovery will likely take several months if the Achilles is indeed torn.
“He’s one of the most misunderstood people,” an emotional Warriors general manager Bob Myers said. “He’s a good teammate, he’s a good person, it’s not fair. I’m lucky to know him. I don’t have all the information on what really the extent of what it all means until we get a MRI, but the people that worked with him and cleared him are good people, they’re good people.”
Myers said Durant’s first injury of this postseason was a calf injury, as the Warriors have insisted throughout. Myers also said that he is willing to accept the blame for the decision to play Durant in Game 5.
“I don’t believe there’s anybody to blame, but I understand in this world and if you have to, you can blame me,” Myers said. “I run our basketball operations department. And to tell you something about Kevin Durant, Kevin Durant loves to play basketball, and the people that questioned whether he wanted to get back to this team were wrong.”
Durant had been cleared by the Warriors’ medical staff after Game 4, and participated in both a practice session Sunday and a shootaround practice earlier Monday. The Warriors had said throughout his monthlong absence that they did not want him back on the floor until he was right, for fear of a scenario where Durant aggravated the injury and had no chance of returning this season.
Their nightmare came true. And if it really only was a calf injury initially, this was worse.
“It’s a bizarre feeling that we all have right now,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “An incredible win and a horrible loss at the same time.”
Durant had 11 points in 12 minutes, making all three of his 3-point attempts. He started and played the first six minutes, then had the lower leg wrapped with a heating pad to keep it loose before he returned about three minutes later.
Golden State won 106-105, cutting Toronto’s lead in the NBA Finals to 3-2.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)