Kevin Durant reveals why he didn’t want hecklers ejected from game

That long, relaxing All-Star break did wonders for Kevin Durant and his conflict resoultion skills. 

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Durant has always been eager to engage with fans, though that was recently not the most pleasant of experiences for anyone involved.

Recently, a pair of Dallas Mavericks fans caught Kevin Durant's attention prior to tip-off during Thursday's Mavericks-Phoenix Suns game. Instead of retaliating or having them ejected, Durant chose a different path and took this opportunity to make a point.

Understanding Kevin Durant's decision not to kick out fans

In response to being called a b****, Durant turned around and started talking with the two fans adorned in Dallas Mavericks gear. You could tell the fans were surprised and the two sides exchanged words briefly before the Suns superstar returned to pre-game warmups. However, the story doesn't end there. 

When security tried to remove the fans, Durant intervened and allowed them to stay.

Durant told Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic, "My thing was like, even though you called me a b---- as I'm running out with my back turned," (Durant says that's usually when hecklers speak up, once his back is turned to them.) "I know you don't mean that, and I'm not going to get you kicked out because you paid your money for these tickets, you had a couple of drinks, and I understand how people get."

Durant explained that there are better ways to try to get his attention. "I know the people want to pet the animals in the zoo, get close to the animals in the zoo, but once they get close, they realize you're real human beings, too. So you should treat us like that."

What's interesting is KD's approach to this situation aligns with what Durant's former teammate Draymond Green recently said about him on Jeff Teague's Club 520 podcast. During a conversation about the NBA's best trash talkers, Green said KD is less active now. "KD used to talk a lot," Draymond said. "He used to talk crazy." In his 17th season, has KD turned over a new leaf?

The Suns All-Star revealed he could've easily gotten the fans kicked out but he'd rather have them watch him play, saying, "Let them stay and give them something to think about going forward." 

Ultimately, Durant recognizes that reacting impulsively to provocations from fans, no matter how disrespectful, could potentially escalate the situation and reflect poorly on him. 

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