Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka was guarding Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant in the second quarter of Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals on Monday night. Durant made a move toward the basket and it looked as if Ibaka stole the ball and started a Raptors fast break going the other way.
Raptors fans cheered.
That’s fine. The hometown fans are supposed to cheer when their guy makes a play. When the play was over, attention turned back to Durant at the other end of the court. He was on the floor grasping his lower leg – the same leg he hurt a month ago in a playoff series against the Houston Rockets.
Raptors fans cheered again. This time, realizing Durant was hurt, they cheered even louder than they did on the Ibaka fast break. To their credit, Raptors players, including Ibaka and All-Star guard Kyle Lowry, admonished their home fans on the court to stop cheering. The fans’ behavior was the type of classless, disgusting display seen all too often in sports.
Fans care about the logo on the front of the jersey and not the name on the back. So what if Kevin Durant has a torn Achilles or Aaron Rodgers a concussion or Joakim Noah an injured ankle? As long as our team wins, right?
It doesn’t matter if it’s in the heat of the moment and you got carried away, there’s a degree of depravity in expressing joy over someone else’s pain. You can want Kevin Durant to miss every shot he takes, but he’s probably going to need surgery now. Think about how worried you get about family members and friends when they need even a minor procedure done.
Fan is short for fanatic – which is essentially a person so zealously dedicated to one side or cause that all reasoning and compassion goes out the window. Fan sounds better than fanatic, so society rolls with that. Besides, there’s no cool way to shorten lunatic. Do better Raptors fans and everyone who acts this way. And here’s to hoping Kevin Durant is back on the court soon.