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NBA fines Kevin Durant $50,000 for ‘offensive and derogatory language’

Brooklyn Nets v LA Clippers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA on Friday fined Kevin Durant $50,000 — but did not suspend him — for his use of “offensive and derogatory language” on social media. The NBA announcement did not specify whether the fine was for the language KD used in his private exchanges with actor Michael Rapoport which he released earlier in the week. A league source, however, confirmed those exchanges were the issue.

A $50,000 fine is the largest permitted under the collective bargaining agreement between the league and players’ union. Here’s the announcement...

On Thursday night, Durant apologized publicly for his language but did not apologize to Rapoport with who he has a long-time relationship, even providing the actor and media personality with tickets to NBA games.

“I’m sorry that people seen that language that I used. That’s not really what I want people to see and hear from me,” said Durant in talking with reporters. “Hopefully I can move past it and get back out on the floor.”

That line appeared to suggest concerns that Durant might face more than just a fine for his language.

How’d it get so ugly? Back in December, Kevin Durant let it be known that he wasn’t going to engage much with Charles Barkley on a TNT post-game show. As was noted at the time, Barkely had been hypercritical of Durant and Kyrie Irving not long before and while KD was respectful of the rest of TNT crew, he gave Barclays short shrift answering the Hall of Famer’s question with a one-word response.

Not long after, Michael Rapoport, whose varied resume lends itself to him being called a media personality, criticized Durant for being “super sensitive about everything.” Durant responded privately to Rapoport calling him a “b—h” and a “d—head” which led to a three-month conversation that got uglier and uglier. at least according to screen shots of DMs Rapoport released Tuesday afternoon.

There were other exchanges that some saw as homophobic and misogynist. Durant told Rapaport that “all u do is c— suck other men for attention,” calling him a “piece of s–t,” telling him to “suck a d–k,” adding “u called your lawyer like the p—y you are.” Durant also told Rapaport he would “spit in your face.”

Once Rapoport released parts of the exchanges —admitting the record was not complete, both the team and league began investigations. Steve Nash said the team and player had internal discussions but declined to detail them.

Durant has been one of the most active users of social media among the NBA’s top stars, often engaging with fans and others and willing to take no prisoners. This time, however, it got out of hand, as he has admitted.