Clock was winding down in the fourth quarter of Oklahoma City Thunder's game 2 against Miami Heat. The ball went to where it should be: Kevin Durant. He is guarded by the man who will be matched up with him more than any other.
Durant dribbled and turned to the basket, attempted the kind of shot he has made countless times in pressure situations.Only, this time, the shot did not go in. Miami Heat went on to win that game and snatched Oklahoma's homecourt advantage in the series.
Almost everyone in the stadium went wild, demanding for a foul. The media corps wondered and debated among themselves whether it was a good no call. Should Lebron James have been called a foul? A significant number of people think so. Did Kevin Durant himself think he was fouled? Yes he did. But he doesn't want to admit it. And that showed a maturity well beyond his years.
Kevin Durant knows that there are better ways to exact vengeance. He knows that games don't always have to be decided at the final buzzer. And deep inside, he is looking forward to make the game decided long before the final buzzer. He doesn't want the outcome of the game to be decided by a single shot.
Maybe it is also his way of saving energy. Maybe it is his way of motivating teammates up so that they won't give the early part of the game to Miami and rely again on late game heroics. Whatever his reason for not blaming the officials, only Kevin Durant knows. However, by doing this, regardless of his true intent, Kevin Durant showed great class, great maturity. He showed that he is a cut above the rest.
Indeed that no-call was the tipping point of not just the game, but of the series. It could be the tipping point that granted Miami the battle, but will inspire the OKC Thunder to win the war.