Thunder’s Kevin Durant fined for ‘menacing’ throat slash gesture
The NBA fined Thunder forward Kevin Durant $25,000 on Friday “for making a menacing gesture” during the second quarter of Thursday’s 116-97 victory at Golden State.
With 1:36 remaining in the second quarter, Durant charged down the paint to finish a dunk in transition after teammate Russell Westbrook’s massive block. After he landed, Durant briefly moved his right hand across his neck, as if slashing his throat, before going back on defense. The dunk gave Oklahoma City a 55-49 lead in the nationally televised game.
The Oklahoman reported Durant’s postgame explanation for the gesture:
“Kill ‘em and pray for ‘em after the game,” Durant said of his new celebration.
“It’s nothing against the team I’m playing against,” Durant said of his animated moves, adding that somebody encouraged him to do it following a highlight dunk. “Come out with a mindset and be friends after the game.”
There definitely seems to be a new edge to Durant, 24, this year after the Thunder’s loss to the Heat in the 2012 Finals. The three-time scoring champion has participated in a “KD is not nice” marketing campaign and has accumulated a career-high 12 technical fouls (two shy of the league lead), including the first ejection of his six-year career. This also marks the first time that Durant has been fined for violating league rules.
Durant finished with a game-high 31 points (on 10-for-16 shooting), 10 rebounds, eight assists and three steals in 34 minutes against the Warriors. The win gave Oklahoma City (58-21) a half-game lead over San Antonio (57-21) for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.