Kevin Durant admits he avoids desperation heaves to protect his stats
On the surface, shots that NBA players take from half court and beyond as the buzzer sounds are nothing but a meaningless prayer. Chances are the shot isn’t going down. If it does, it could give your team an important three points. But more often than not it does nothing but lower a player’s shooting percentage. That’s why some players are hesitant to even take it.
This may come as a surprise, but one of those players is Kevin Durant.
“It depends on what I’m shooting from the field,” Durant said, via Royce Young of the Daily Thunder. “First quarter if I’m 4-for-4, I let it go. Third quarter if I’m like 10-for-16, or 10-for-17, I might let it go. But if I’m like 8-for-19, I’m going to go ahead and dribble one more second and let that buzzer go off and then throw it up there. So it depends on how the game’s going.”
In other words, Durant is always going to give the fans the impression that he is trying to sink that last-second rainmaker. However, he sometimes intentionally waits until it doesn’t count if he’s having a rough shooting night. Teammate Russell Westbrook had a completely different take.
“No. Nope … If I was considering about [statistics] I’d do a lot of s*** different,” Westbrook said.
Kendrick Perkins added that he has heard of players being hesitant to take the shot like Eddie House, who he says was conscience about trying to break the three-point percentage record while the two were teammates with the Boston Celtics. Perkins also said he believes players should take the shot if they have it, since you never know what could unfold in the game.
A number of other players gave their take on the subject, and you can read them all here. Personally, I’m with Perk and Westbrook. Players try to convince us that all they care about is winning, but clearly that isn’t the case. Some would say you have nothing to lose by taking the shot. Apparently others feel as though field goal percentage is something that’s not worth hurting.