Kevin Durant is not nice.
Durant has recorded 13 technical fouls this season and he only trails Kobe Bryant (14) for most in the league. The new attitude that Durant has brought this season may cost him a playoff game if he ends up reaching 16 technical fouls, but the overall effect of his ‘tude will help the Thunder in the long run.
The Thunder certainly have a different identity from last year. Last season, Durant ended the year with only five technical fouls. This year, he is on edge and he wants it all. The only thing that will please him in the end is an NBA championship, and his teammates can see this.
Earlier in the season, Durant shed some light on the technical foul situation this year via Twitter, pretty much in a joking manner.
“Three techs in three games, not like me.” said Durant. “Kendrick Perkins is a bad influence on my life lol jk.. I will be better, sorry guys.”
Durant’s new attitude could possibly be the result of playing alongside Perkins who does, after all, have the notorious reputation of being one of the league’s meanest players. He led the NBA with 13 technical fouls last season and is consistently one of the league’s top offenders. He has 12 this season, making it the fifth season in a row that he has reached double-digits in technical fouls.
And I haven’t even mentioned Russell Westbrook, one of the league’s most emotional players ever. We all remember Westbrook’s outburst about a month ago against the Memphis Grizzlies. He is also piling up the technical fouls this season with 11. Could Durant have gotten his new attitude from Westbrook? Possibly.
I have the feeling we will see more emotion from the Thunder this year in the playoffs. Not only do they still have the sour taste of defeat from last year’s NBA Finals, but now the Thunder will be feeding off of Durant’s fiery emotion, which could be the catalyst to the Thunder’s goal of becoming NBA champions.