Kevin Durant Refutes Paul George and Joel Embiid on Latest NBA Controversy

Published 11/07/2021, 1:33 PM EST
Oct 11, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) brings the ball up court against the Philadelphia 76ers during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports


As the string of controversies in the NBA continue, the latest one involves the league’s new balls. Several players have complained about the Wilson balls, stating that they are still adjusting to the fly. It is the first time in NBA history that the good old Spalding basketballs aren’t in use. But contradicting the opinion of the likes of Joel Embiid and Paul George, Kevin Durant has admitted that the basketballs feel the same.

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Right from the onset, the league’s shooting statistics have taken a huge hit. It is one of the lowest success rates in many decades. While some are attributing this to the new refereeing rules, others believe the Wilson balls have impacted the shooting. The likes of Damian Lillard, Luka Doncic and Stephen Curry have severely lost out on multiple points, with no definite reason yet. In fact, Curry has also raised concerns with the new basketballs recently. So is it really the problem of the balls?

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Kevin Durant rubbishes claims of Embiid and George regarding Wilson balls

Earlier, Clippers’ Paul George went on record to criticize the new balls. “Not to make an excuse or anything about the ball but I said that it’s just a different basketball. It doesn’t have the same touch and softness that the Spalding ball had,” claimed George. Meanwhile, powerhouse Embiid opined, “I’m always looking for excuses but the ball is different. Still don’t feel comfortable with it.” However, Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant doesn’t think so.

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In general, it takes time to get used to new basketballs. Possibly every player would prefer a slightly roughed up, for the grip, feel, and other reasons. Recently addressing the NBA’s latest controversy, the former Golden State legend rubbished claims of the ball influencing performances. A 11-time All-star, KD has seen enough to recognize how different basketballs are. Regarding the new Wilson balls, he said, “For me, it just feel the same.”

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It is still hard to determine the exact reason for the NBA’s scoring slack. With so many big names declaring that the new balls are different, it is hard to neglect such a theory. Yet, the best prevail against all odds. Let’s see who flourishes in the era of Wilson basketball!

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

446 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is an NBA and Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football and table tennis. Sankalp idolises Roger Federer and Stephen Curry, and has an inherent love for statistics.

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