Bill Russell opens up about the Kevin Durant MVP handshake snub
As Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant accepted the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award for the second consecutive year, there were some who criticized him for not acknowledging the presence of the great Bill Russell, the all-time great who the FMVP is named after. However, it appears that the alleged snub was much ado about nothing, as it was Russell himself who shutdown the chitchat on Twitter.
For context, here’s the video of Durant’s awarding ceremony with no acknowledgment of Russell.
— NBA (@NBA) June 9, 2018
To be fair to Durant, he was really not given a chance to shake Russell’s hand immediately as the Hall of Famer was on the opposite side of commissioner Adam Silver, who handed the trophy to Durant. The 29-year-old was busy acknowledging congratulatory high-fives from his teammates right before he was snatched by Doris Burke for an interview. Unfortunately, the great Russell has been hit by Father Time, so he isn’t as mobile as he used to be back when he was winning NBA titles himself.
For his part, 11-time NBA Champion and five-time MVP winner Russell considered it to be a non-issue and was quick to defend Durant. The 84-year-old revealed that Durant went over to shake his hand immediately after his interview, and even shared some photo evidence.
People are giving @KDTrey5 a hard time for not shaking my hand. I know how it feels to get caught up in the energy of the win. He did come over, shook my hand & had a nice exchange. He has always been respectful. @warriors @nba @espn @BleacherReport #NBAFinals @NBATV #FinalsMVP pic.twitter.com/84ZKlCzdn2
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) June 9, 2018
Having a trophy named after you simply means that your achievements in the sport are second to none. Durant definitely appreciates this and is not in the business of snubbing the likes of the great Bill Russell.
Durant averaged a remarkable 28.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 7.5 assists in the Finals en route to his second Finals MVP trophy. Although there was some talk about teammate Stephen Curry being given the nod, KD proved to be the more formidable force in what was one of the most one-sided matchups in NBA Finals history.