(Photo: Screenshot via YouTube/ZombieProphet)
An ESPN NBA analyst is receiving some backlash on social media after laughing at Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant when he thanked God following his team's victory against the Miami Heat on Wednesday.
ESPN analyst Doris Burke was interviewing Durant after the Thunder beat their rival Miami Heat Wednesday night at the American Airlines Arena with a final score of 112-95. Durant has had a stellar season so far, scoring 33 points at Wednesday's game and hitting a 12-game streak of 30 or more points, the longest record in NBA history after former NBA player Tracy McGrady hit a 14-game streak in 2003.
In their brief interview, Burke asked Durant what he credits as the reason for his recent success on the basketball court, to which the Thunder's Forward replied: "Thank God, that's all I can say, Jesus Christ."
Burke responded to Durant's answer by laughing and replying, "Okay, thank you. You had nothing to do with it?"
"No, nothing, it's all Him," Durant responded before smiling and walking away.
As the sports blog Awful Announcing notes, it is difficult to determine if Burke was actually laughing at Durant's religious beliefs or simply surprised at his humility and unwillingness to take any of the credit for his athletic performance. Regardless, the blog notes that Burke may receive backlash for her untimely guffaw.
"There are going to many people who will be offended at Burke's reaction today, but it's impossible to tell what she was really thinking. Was she laughing at Durant's religious beliefs or just taken aback that he didn't want to take any credit for his scoring tear? It's not fair to judge her too harshly, but laughing in that moment is going to produce some heat for Burke for the impression that it gave viewers."
Regardless of her intentions, Burke's awkward response has lit up both Twitter and Facebook, with some taking offense to the way the ESPN analyst handled Durant's comment, and others arguing her response was purely innocent.
"I don't think she laughed in his face. It was the kind of laugh to fill space. She wasn't expecting a quick answer," one sports fan, Andrew Gilman, tweeted.
"Doris Burke laughing when Durant said 'all credit goes to God' really bothers me. Poor reporter overall and shouldn't be employed by ESPN," Justin Lipps-Watson argued.
Another viewer wrote: "Excuse me Doris Burke but what the heck was your response 'that's it?' supposed to mean? Yes, Jesus Christ IS IT."
The Oklahoma City Thunder bounced back from an unpromising start at Wednesday's game against the Heat, jumping back from an 18-point deficit midway through the opening quarter to smoke the Heat in an impressive 43-point climb in only 33 minutes. Oklahoma's impressive performance on Wednesday gave it its ninth straight win, and NBA analysts are suggesting maybe Durant will beat out James for this year's Most Valuable Player award. James is a four-time MVP league champion.
Erik Spoelstra, head coach of the Miami Heat, told reporters after the game that his team obviously has some work to do. "We're like everybody else in the league. Nobody is infallible. We have some things to improve on. We know the things we have to improve on. We're not there yet."