The Durant-Barkley Fight Breakdown | SI Media Podcast

Episode 386 of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina features a conversation with The Ringer’s Ryen Russillo.

The following transcript is an excerpt from The SI Media Podcast. Listen to the full episode on podcast players everywhere or on

Jimmy Traina: Do you think how people view Durant, maybe comes down a peg by how poorly he performed and getting swept by the Celtics?

Ryen Russillo: I mean, he was pretty bad in Game 3 by his standards. And Tatum did an unbelievable job and then you start asking yourself some bigger picture questions like, do I go into next year thinking Tatum is better than Durant? Which I didn’t think I was going to say to myself after the series. I also think there’s a big part of me that saw what Durant did last year without Kyrie and not even a half version of Harden – with the hamstring injury, in the playoffs and he still almost got past Milwaukee. So to go this bad … this whole Brooklyn thing, when it started, I was like, I’m a little surprised KD be hitching his wagon to Kyrie. And on top of it, it went way worse. You know what I mean? As bad as I thought it could go if it went sideways, it’s gone way worse. So as the best player out of that group, you’re going to take most of the heat. He likes to engage, which part of me respects him for it, because I’ve always said that I like Durant a lot. Knowing him as a player, cause I feel like I know exactly who he is as a person. And I’d rather have flawed and genuine than scripted and seemingly perfect – Russell Wilson. So I’m always going to defend Kevin Durant. But you know, I think it gets to a point where it’s like, hey, do you really want to just start debating people that have already decided they’re never going to change your mind? Like we do not change our minds about anything in this society. I don’t know how it translates to other parts of the world, but we don’t. We don’t want to go, hey, maybe I was wrong about this. I know I don’t like doing it. I don’t like being wrong about teams and players and stuff, but eventually you have to get over it. So if somebody is telling Durant he sucks and then he can’t stop talking about it with somebody else, it’s like, what do you think you’re going to do? Like, are you trying to change a person’s mind? And I don’t think that’s ever going to happen. So I can understand his frustration, but he put himself in this situation. And I think it’s also confirming how many people actually didn’t like Durant originally, because he left Oklahoma City and he went to a team that won 73 games and probably should have won a title if Draymond [Green] was suspended in the 2016 Finals. So when you add that all up, there’s never any gray with it, where you either love player freedom or you hate it. And I think Durant actually got people that like player freedom to make it a little more gray, saying okay but that one’s ridiculous. So this was another chance to dump on a guy that people are still resentful towards going back for five off seasons now.


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