In surprise twist, Gold-winning basketball players bash ESPN analyst: ‘Act like you’re American’

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In a surprise twist of fate, two U.S. Olympic basketball players — a group of people who tend to be “woke” — lectured members of the media to be more patriotic.

The backstory here is that the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team hasn’t fared well this year. The team “lost exhibition games against Nigeria and Australia and its Olympic opener against France last month,” according to Sporting News.

This horrible track record reportedly brought out the critics, including ESPN commentator Kendrick Perkins, who’s been hitting them especially hard:

Well, much to the critics’ surprise, the team beat expectations by scoring a decisive victory over France, 87-82, on Friday.

Following this victory, two players — Kevin Durant and Draymond Green — decided to accuse their critics of lacking patriotism.

“Everybody who said we were going to take the L. … They had some power rankings out. They had us fourth behind Slovenia. Come on, man,” Durant said in an Instagram Live video.

In other words, they had America last instead of first.

“Talking about they’re catching up to us, like, are you serious? This skill is unmatched, you dig? Shout-out to everybody that won this gold, everybody that chipped in and helped out. We’re going to the press conference, but I had to talk my shit real quick,” he added.

In the same video, Green slammed Perkins by name and demanded he start acting like an American.

“Kendrick Perkins, you talk a lot of shit. A lot of shit. Act like you’re American!” he said.

Listen:

During a post-game presser, Green went in on Perkins and those like him again.

“You turn on American sports talk TV, and you got guys like Kendrick Perkins, you know, doubting us. Somebody needs to teach these people some loyalty. How about you cheer for your country?” he said.

“But then when guys don’t play, ‘Oh, you need to go represent the country.’ And then you lose, hit a little bump in the road, and everybody’s, ‘Oh, everybody’s caught America.’ You are an American too. Act like it. Do your job!”

It’s rare to hear an American basketball player speak so patriotically.

“You know, I do some media stuff; I understand doing your job. But when you talk about a special group, you better be sure you’re right, and a lot of people got it wrong. And trust me, I’ll be posting those guys. I’ll be posting everybody I found who said something. No one holds people accountable anymore, but I will,” he added.

Perkins heard his words and eventually responded via Twitter.

Look:

Both men, Durant and Green, are known for being outspoken, though they’re not necessarily patriotic or anti-woke.

Earlier this year, Green slammed female athletes for complaining about an alleged wage gap. But his issue wasn’t that the wage gap is a myth, but that the athletes should be taking concrete actions instead of just whining.

And so basically, his criticism was halfway “woke.”

“I’m really tired of seeing them complain about the lack of pay, because they’re doing themselves a disservice by just complaining. They’re not laying out steps that they can take to change that,” he said.

“And so, it’s coming off as a complaint because the people that can change it, they’re just going to continue to say, ‘Well, the revenue isn’t there…so if you don’t bring in the revenue, we can’t up your pay.’ They’re going to keep using that, but the reality is, as true as that is, it’s an excuse.”

He added that, if female athletes are serious about wanting more pay, they need to start walking the walk and not just talking the talk.

As for Durant, his “woke” grievances  earned him criticism from “Good Times” star Jimmie Walker two years ago.

“The thing that upsets me the most about NBA players is they’re so upset, they’re so angry. Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant … what are you upset about? I’m happy if I’m making that kind of money! They’re always complaining,” he said.

“They don’t understand what it’s like to be in real life,” he said. “Real life is getting your own bags off the [luggage] carousel. No charters, no limos waiting for you.”

Vivek Saxena

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