On Thursday night, Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant threw down one of the best dunks of the NBA playoffs, soaring up and over Dallas Mavericks center Brendan Haywood to forcefully throw down a one-handed flush, while drawing a foul too.
Before he dunked on Haywood, Durant blew by Mavericks forward Peja Stojakovic on the perimeter, going hard to his right and leaving Stojakovic in the dust.
That fact was something that Haywood wasn't entirely happy about. Haywood threw both Stojakovic and his coaching staff under the bus in comments to ESPNDallas.com.
"It was a great play, but I'm not even really worried about that. I'm more worried about how bad our perimeter defense was. I'm like, 'Peja, uh, can you close the gate a little bit maybe?' "Even though Stojakovic reportedly apologized for his lapse afterwards, Haywood continued.
"Man, everybody is going to remember the dunk, but it's more about how we lined up all night and got beat on basically one dribble," Haywood said. "There's no defense for that. If you make a guy take two or three dribbles to get to the hole, then your defensive rotation will be there. If you get beat on one dribble, you're going to get beat and be giving up over 100 every night."
"I was like, 'A little late for that, Peja. I don't really want to hear your bad. Just move your feet a little bit better next time. Just move your feet,' " Haywood said. "I think that's the problem. There's no way in the world we should have had Peja on Durant. That's wrong. We're going to blame that on a coaching error. If Peja is on Durant, we should automatically as a team yell zone. It should definitely be a zone."Yikes.
Haywood has a point here. Obviously. Everyone knows that Stojakovic, never an elite defender, should not be matched up against the league's best and most consistent scorer one-on-one.
But calling out a teammate so blatantly and personally during the conference finals? Usually those kinds of comments only come from superstars, not reserve centers that average less than 19 minutes per game during the regular season and shoot 36% from the free throw line. Questioning your coaching staff's acumen? Arguably an even worse look.
Just take your posterization like a man, big fella. Durant got you. He might get you again. There's no need to get all salty about it.
Here's a look at Durant's dunk on Haywood again in case you missed it.