Ben Margot/Associated Press
“I don’t wanna disappoint my coaches, my fan base, and owners who expect me to be on the floor so I apologize,” Durant told reporters Monday.
Durant was thrown out alongside Clippers guard Patrick Beverley in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 121-104 win. The pair dueled for most of the game and each received a pair of double technicals.
“Nah,” Durant said when asked if there was any animosity with him and Beverley, per Logan Murdock of NBC Sports Bay Area. “I love Patrick Beverley.”
“I’ve been playing against Pat Beverly since he was at Arkansas, so I kind of know what he brings. He’s a Chicago kid, grew up and played in the Chicago area, so those dudes play with a different type of grit, so I can appreciate that about Pat. You know what he’s going to bring to the table, just physically mucking up the game a little bit with his physicality. That’s what he brings to each team he plays on.”
Durant said he was not worried about picking up two technical fouls in the first game of what should be an extended postseason run for the Warriors. A seventh technical foul results in a suspension during the postseason. Durant led the NBA with 17 technicals during the regular season.
“That’s two technicals,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters. “You get seven technicals, your seventh one is a suspension in the playoffs, whether you play four playoff games or 24, seven is the magic number. So, he’s got four to play with after one game. And that’s what Beverley does.
“We talked about it the last couple days. He’s a hell of a defender who plays hard. We have a lot of respect for him. But you cannot take the bait because that’s a bad trade for us. You just can’t do it. The Clippers have made a lot of good trades this year, and that was maybe their best.”
Neither Beverley nor Durant saw the situation as one for which they should have been ejected. The infraction that led to them being tossed seemed like a relatively minor war of words—perhaps worthy of a first double technical but not a second, which officials are typically conservative about handing out.