Jalen Rose does not believe Kevin Durant had any business being out on the court for Game 5 of the NBA Finals, which is a stance markedly easier to take now that Golden State Warriors forward has suffered a potential career-altering injury. You likely agree with him. But perhaps not some of the supporting points he used in discussing why the 30-year-old played in the first place.
Rose, appearing on First Take, laid the blame on several doorsteps. The overall culture of sports. The media. Fans. He said Durant was forced to return in large part because of the “chatter” that would have ensued had he sat out.
As a former player, Rose has solid perspective on how it feels for a player to be questioned by the peanut gallery. But two things really need to be answered here.
First, is blaming everyone but Durant and his willingness to risk it on Monday night a means of infantilizing him? It’s unclear what communication took place between he and the team, but it’s possible he chose to undertake the challenge because as a highly competitive athlete, he desired winning and the challenge.