After years of unchecked dominance, the Golden State Warriors have finally found a worthy rival: Marat Kogut. He was a hot topic amongst the Warriors’ stars after Friday’s 131-130 overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Steph Curry said Kogut was “the MVP of tonight.” Kevin Durant called him “the best player on the floor.” This Kogut guy sounds pretty good! Let’s see what he looks like in action.
Oooooooh. He’s a referee. I get it. The Warriors were being sarcastic.
Kogut earned Golden State’s ire in the final seconds of overtime on Friday, when it looked as if Durant was fouled while hitting a game-tying 3-pointer. Kogut blew his whistle, but the official declared it a non-shooting infraction and didn’t let Durant attempt a 4-point play. Bad call or not, the Warriors still had a chance to tie the game, and Curry seized upon the opportunity with an absurdly difficult 3-pointer from the corner. Afterwards, he and Durant gleefully pointed at Kogut’s face in a rare moment of player-on-referee taunting.
The game was as good as over with 0.5 seconds remaining, but the officials called Durant for a foul on the ensuing inbounds play and sent Karl-Anthony Towns to the line for the win.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was unimpressed when asked about that final foul. “You mean when the lob was going 10 feet over the rim?” he said after the game.
During the postgame press scrum, Durant cited the potential fines he’d incur for complaining about the refs. “I wanna keep my money because they gave me two bullshit techs. Lemme just stop talking about the officiating,” he said, before continuing to talk about the officiating.
With LeBron James missing out on the playoffs, a new superstar has emerged to give the Warriors fits. “Marat is his name?” Durant asked reporters. “He’s one of the greatest refs of all time.”