Kevin Durant took a swipe at NBA ‘analysts’ like Skip Bayless and Nick Wright, who don’t play basketball but comment on NBA players.
One of the greatest pet peeves for most athletes with sports media is their lack of understanding of game situations. They believe that if you talk about basketball, you need to have a player’s perspective.
This outlook is quite fair when you really think about it. If you froze the frame for a Kings game and asked Nick Wright what decision De’Aaron Fox should make in a certain half-court set, he’d probably falter.
That’s because Wright hasn’t played basketball against professional players. More specifically, he hasn’t faced Fox’s opponents. Nor does he really see how NBA teams go about film study and developing viable in-game strategies based on their opponents.
Most talking heads on sports shows fall into this variety. There are exceptions, of course – Jalen Rose is a former NBA player. Tim Legler, who’s probably the best basketball analyst on the planet, won the NBA 3-point championship in 1996. But by and large, talking heads really can’t speak for an NBA head coach or a player, or indeed even an AAU or high school coach.
Given the level of scrutiny that athletes face in the modern era, theirs is a legitimate gripe. And Kevin Durant is never afraid to talk about this stuff.
Kevin Durant says Nick Wright, Skip Bayless should play basketball more often
KD did an interview with Big Cat from Barstool Sports and Alex Rodriguez, a few months before Covid hit. The Slim Reaper was as candid as candid can be all through the interview, revealing his thick skin at times while fielding shots from the Barstool guy.
He did get into it with Cat regarding talking heads and their propensity to talk intricate basketball details without really playing and putting themselves in those positions.
“You talk a lot of st about basketball, about athletes. And I don’t mind it. But if you’re going to talk st about basketball, at least play a pickup game at least once a month.”
Big Cat wouldn’t take this lying down, however. He revealed that he does play pickup ball once a week, at which point KD retracted and gave Cat a pass. But later on in ther interview, he asked about other popular talking heads:
“You think Bill Simmons plays as much as you? What about Robin Lundberg? Do you think other guys in your field play as much as you? What about Skip Bayless, you think he plays? Does Nick Wright play?”
Big Cat replied in the negative for all 3 of those guys. At that point, KD put on his ‘I’m-not-mad-I’m-just-disappointed’ face. It really was quite endearing and relatable, to say the least.