Kevin Durant takes questions in New York on Sunday. (Jacob C. Palmer/S.F. Examiner)

Kevin Durant defends Zaza Pachulia against accusations of being a dirty player

NEW YORK — It didn’t look like a big deal during the game on Saturday, but Zaza Pachulia falling in a heap and bringing Russell Westbrook with him has created another round of dirty-player accusations for the Golden State Warriors big man.

When Westbrook was asked by Bonta Hill of 95.7 The Game and the SF Examiner if he thought Pachulia intentionally tried to hurt him, Westbrook got defensive and stated it was obviously an attempt to hurt him.

On Sunday, Kevin Durant said he thought his former teammate was missing a key factor: Nick Young’s leg tripping Pachulia, bringing him to the floor.

“I don’t think Zaza was trying to hurt anybody,” Durant said. “He is clumsy — don’t get me wrong — like a lot of big guys are. But I watched the tape. I seen Nick’s foot get caught up with Zaza’s leg and it might of tripped him up a bit. I don’t think he was trying to hurt Russ. But it did look to the fans’ view, I’m sure to them, it looked kinda like a weird play. I slowed it down and I seen some clips and pictures everywhere that Nick’s leg got caught up in Zaza’s leg. I don’t think he was trying to hurt him at all. It was an unfortunate play and I’m glad Russ didn’t get hurt.”

This is a classic “is it dirty” play that comes up in the NBA more than once a year. It’s impossible to know Pachulia’s true intentions in that brief moment. And it doesn’t look good. But is it dirty and does it matter?

The discussion in the NBA — a pro league that thrives because of an active fanbase on Twitter — will rage on and everyone will take their own sides in the battle.

Kyrie Irving took his stance and it wasn’t favorable to Pachulia.

“The league has to take a look at this man, this s–t is ridiculous,” Irving commented on a video of the play.

So take a look. Was it dirty? 

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

City officials closed San Francisco County Jail No. 4 on the top floor of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. in September, reducing the number of beds in the jail system by about 400. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
SF jail closure prompts doctor to call for release of more inmates

Reduced space increases risk of COVID-19 spreading among those in custody

Cyclists have flocked to Market Street since private vehicles were largely banned from a long stretch of it in January. (Amanda Peterson/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Plans for sidewalk-level bikeway on Market Street dropped due to costs, increased cyclist volume

Advocates say revisions to Better Market Street fail to meet safety goals of project

Prop. 21 would allow San Francisco city officials to expand rent control to cover thousands more units. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tenant advocates take another try at expanding rent control with Prop. 21

Measure would allow city to impose new protections on properties 15 years or older

Tenderloin residents are finding benefits to having roads closed in the neighborhood. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Should there be fewer cars in the Tenderloin’s future?

The pandemic has opened San Franciscans’ eyes to new uses of urban streets

Singer-songwriter Cam is finding musicmaking to be healing during 2020’s world health crisis. 
Courtesy 
Dennis Leupold
Cam challenges country music tropes

Bay Area-bred songwriter releases ‘The Otherside’

Most Read