The war of words continues for Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant. And this time it cost him.
After last week’s heated argument with teammate Draymond Green just left Durant agitated, he was fined $25,000 on Tuesday for “directing inappropriate language toward a fan,” it was announced by Kiki VanDeWeghe, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball operations.
The incident occurred with 1:01 remaining in the first quarter of the Warriors’ 112-109 road loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.
Through league sources, Yahoo Sports reported that Durant told a heckler in the crowd at American Airlines Center to “watch the (bleeping) game and shut the (bleep) up.”
—The struggling Miami Heat are hoping there is a carryover effect when Dwyane Wade makes his return from paternity leave on Tuesday night as the Heat host the Brooklyn Nets.
Miami is just 2-5 since Wade departed the club for the Nov. 7 birth of his daughter. The 6-10 overall mark is the team’s second-worst through 16 games in the past dozen seasons.
“There’s a human element to this business and to the game, and it is the most important thing,” coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters following shootaround. “The connection, your spirit, your emotions, everybody getting on the same page and just seeing Dwyane back here with the guys, there was a tangible boost in energy in the shootaround.”
—The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly parting ways with JR Smith, just hours after the publication of a story in which Smith accused the team of tanking and said he wants out of Cleveland.
According to The Athletic’s Joe Vardon, Smith “will no longer be actively with the Cavs” and is working with the team on a potential trade. He will work on his own, Vardon continued, calling the split “amicable.”
After a loss Monday sent Cleveland to the bottom of the NBA standings at 2-13, Smith told The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd, “I don’t think the goal is to win. The goal isn’t to go out there and try to get as many wins as you can. I think the goal is to develop and lose to get lottery picks. I think that was always the plan.”
—Markelle Fultz is headed back to a specialist for an exam on his ailing shoulder and will not return to the Philadelphia 76ers lineup until he is cleared.
Fultz, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, was benched on Monday in favor of T.J. McConnell after playing only seven minutes.
Fultz met with reporters after the game and did not mention his shoulder or hint at any other injury. Head coach Brett Brown said he didn’t know how the rotation would work out moving forward.
—Field Level Media