Saturday, April 17, 2010

War of words erupts between Lakers coach Jackson, Durant

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.— Phil Jackson doesn’t understand why Kevin Durant was upset with his comments about the Oklahoma City Thunder star getting superstar treatment from the referees.

The Los Angeles Lakers coach’s line about the referees earned him a $35,000 fine from the NBA on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Jackson was asked about Durant, who led the league in free throws, and he said in part, “I think a lot of the referees are treating him like a superstar. He gets to the line easily and often."

In response to Jackson’s comments, Durant told the Oklahoman newspaper in part: “It’s taking away from what I do. That’s a part of my game, getting to the free throw line and being aggressive. If you say that I get superstar calls or I get babied by the refs, that’s just taking away from how I play. That’s disrespectful to me."

On Friday, Jackson said he didn’t see Durant’s response.

“I really don’t know what he was upset about. It really wasn’t that upsetting," the coach said.

“He shot the most free throws in the league, he made the most free throws in the league, he shot the most shots in the league, he made the most shots in the league. I voted for him on the All-Star team, he made the All-Star team, we know he’s a great player, congratulations."

Asked about Durant feeling disrespected, Jackson replied, “Whatever." - AP

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