Kevin Durant: Another Persecuted Christian

Kevin Durant is one of the best players in the NBA and he’ll end up being one of the best players in the history of the league (at least offensively). He’s been on an amazing scoring streak lately, but he says it’s all because of Jesus. One little giggle by ESPN’s Doris Burke in response to that statement and ZOMG! Persecution!

Catholic blogger Rebecca Hamilton is appalled:

Watch, and get a look at what Christians face more and more, even when they are famous athletes being interviewed by “professional” reporters of major cable networks.

Seriously? What Christians face more and more? First of all, Burke wasn’t even laughing because she was deriding what he said. As she said in an email to another reporter, “He just took me by surprise with his reaction — not because he’s a believer, I’m a believer. It was an incredible demonstration of humility in the context of what has been a truly spectacular stretch.” But Twitter, of course, exploded with anger.

Doris Burke’s interview with @KDTrey5 was very unprofessional and very disrespectful. She needs to be fired.

Much respect @KDTrey5 for giving Jesus Christ all the credit, the fact that Doris Burke would laugh after makes me hate espn ever more

No reservation/hesitance in @KDTrey5’s gratitude. Exudes humility. What more people need to see and do. Screw Doris Burke – she’s an idiot.

Why did Doris Burke laugh when Kevin Durant gave credit to Jesus Christ? Smh…..Lord Help our evil world…..

Jesus H. Christ, people. First of all, Doris Burke is the single best thing ESPN has going in its college basketball coverage, and I wish they’d keep her there doing color commentary instead of sideline reporting. She’s the only woman who ever does color commentary on college basketball games and she’s infinitely better than Dick Vitale, Dan Dakich and virtually every other analyst they have. She actually analyzes the game and does a good job of it. She doesn’t spend all her time making up stupid catchphrases to develop some fake persona. She does her job and she does it well, and ESPN should have her doing that full time instead of standing on the sidelines asking irrelevant questions.

Secondly, I am just so tired of athletes thanking God and Jesus. Kevin Durant is on a historic streak because he’s an amazing player and the 2nd best player on the team is hurt, so he’s making the extra effort to carry his team. Jesus has absolutely nothing to do with it. And I know he thinks it makes him sound humble, but it actually does the exact opposite. “Jesus thinks I’m so special that he makes me the leading scorer in the NBA so I make $20 million a year.” Too bad Jesus doesn’t think kids dying of disease and hunger are special.

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  • It would have been better if she had added after the giggle: “Oh, you were serious?”

  • It’s a hedge strategy. Because, when he’s doing well he can pretend to be “humble” and say “jesus did it.” “Couldn’t have done it without the lord” etc. But when he – inevitably – fades and screws up, he can say “I guess it’s not my fault – jesus just didn’t want it.” Heads, I win and I’m humble. Tails, I win by being a victim of the divine fluxions.

    It’s just a stupid hedge strategy.

  • Too bad Jesus doesn’t think kids dying of disease and hunger are special.

    Sure, but they aren’t in the NBA.

  • eric

    I am just so tired of athletes thanking God and Jesus.

    Durant’s behavior isn’t half as annoying as Hamilton’s. So we are now at the point where evincing suprise at a religious statement counts as persecution?

  • Menyambal — making sambal a food group.

    Many conservatives only laugh when they are laughing at someone. Ridicule is their only form of humor. They do not understand laughing about how things are, and they especially do not understand laughing because of seeing things a new way. And they never laugh from happiness.

    They cannot see that Burke was just caught a little by surprise, and was actually happy about the guy’s humility. They project ridicule, and they bring their Christian love and forgiveness, and they look ridiculous.

  • zenlike

    Never heard of Rebecca Hamilton. 5 minutes on her blog confirm she is a catholic forced-birther theocrat who thinks the government should endorse one religion above all others and believes that Christians are the “World’s Most Persecuted Religious Group”.

    And she was a representative in a state legislature.

    I think she has a great career ahead of her as a WND columnist.

  • Many conservatives only laugh when they are laughing at someone. Ridicule is their only form of humor. They do not understand laughing about how things are, and they especially do not understand laughing because of seeing things a new way. And they never laugh from happiness.

    My God. Religion aside. Politics aside. How can you go through life making such simpleminded generalizations. It’s unfathomable.

    This seems like a rational comment to you? Seriously?

  • Menyambal — making sambal a food group.

    Yes, Heddle, it does. Thanks.

  • Menyambal, #5 and #8

    Yes, Heddle, it does. Thanks.

    Really. So take a generic conservative. Who would that be.. ? George Will? Now we can stipulate that his politics is, for the most part, despised on this blog.

    Beyond that it is your contention referring back to #5) that:

    1) George Will only laughs when he is laughing at someone. Nothing else can make him laugh except laughing at someone else’s expense. You actually believe that?

    2) Similarly, perhaps redundantly, only ridicule tickles his fancy. It can never be slapstick or sarcasm or irony or cleverness, etc. Only ridicule. This is your position?

    3) There is no sense that seeing something in a new way can make him chuckle. You know that this is impossible for him. (How do you know this?)

    4) And, perhaps most amazingly, he never, ever laughs from happiness.

    You are standing by this? That you have conservatives pegged to the point that you know all this with a considerable certainty?

    Yeah. Right.

  • John Pieret

    I think OKC should start sending Durant’s paychecks to Jesus, since he is the one earning them. Oh, they came back “addressee unknown”? Oh, too bad!

  • illdoittomorrow

    Heddle, Menyambal said ‘many’, not ‘most’.

  • illdoittomorrow

    Heddle, Menyambal said ‘many’, not ‘most’.

    Oh–I see. Well that certainly is a big loophole. Also a meaningless one. Since there are tens of millions of liberals and tens millions of conservatives in the US you can a potpourri of negative personality traits and say there are “many” of either group represented. I’m sure there are “many” liberals and “many” conservatives who, say, cheat on their taxes.

    In that case, since the statement is without substance, I withdraw my criticism.

  • Don’t be silly Heddle. George Will has never laughed for any reason whatsoever. That would involve expressing a human emotion, something he has never done since he was first assembled at the factory.

  • Can anyone give me a good reason why we shouldn’t laugh at someone who believes that an omnipotent being would let children starve to death but intervenes to help millionaire players win a basketball game?

  • machintelligence

    Heddle, you have much to learn about humor and laughter. For example:

    Why does a German laugh three times at most jokes?

    The first time when you tell it.

    The second time when you explain it.

    And the third time when he finally “gets” it.

    Only the last is real mirth, and it comes as a “reward” for revising your thinking or frame of reference.

    Conservatives as a group are notably resistant to changing their minds, so they are usually dour individuals.

    Reference: Inside Jokes (using humor to reverse-engineer the mind) by Hurley, Dennett and Adams

  • Al Dente

    Many Calvinists have no sense of humor. Heddle is Exhibit A.

  • Al Dente,

    Many Calvinists have no sense of humor. Heddle is Exhibit A.

    Hmm. I have to admit that if your comment is a joke then, try as I might, I don’t get it. If it is making other people guffaw with its cleverness, then I can do nothing but concede that you are correct.

  • Larry

    Basketball Jesus.

    I got a basketball Jesus

    Basketball Jesus, oh baby, oo-oo-oo

    Oh, it feels so good, gimme the ball

    I’ll go one on one against the world, left-handed

    I could stuff it from center court with my toes

    I could jump on top of the backboard

    Take off a quarter, leave fifteen cents change

    I could, I could dribble behind my back

    I got more moves than Ex-Lax I’m bad

  • heddle “I don’t get it. If it is making other people guffaw with its cleverness, then I can do nothing but concede that you are correct.”

    I have to admit, it got me. Granted, that’s mostly my natural ebullience. And the rest is on account of the concussion.

    Maybe I was laughing at something else.


    And Heddle does have a sense of humor. This one time, he got me to pull his finger, resulting in such hilarity that by the time I stopped laughing, he’d closed my bank account and run off with my wife. That last part wasn’t so funny. I loved that bank account.

  • jnorris

    I do not believe Jesus harming a person so Kevin Durant can get a career boost is at all funny. Kevin Durant giving Jesus the credit for his talent is funny, way funny. I’m sure the NBA scouts make a special report on every college b’ball player’s church attendance too.

  • Michael Heath

    Many conservatives only laugh when they are laughing at someone. Ridicule is their only form of humor. They do not understand laughing about how things are, and they especially do not understand laughing because of seeing things a new way. And they never laugh from happiness.

    heddle’s right; this is idiocy.


    my goodness, George Will isn’t a typical anything. The man doesn’t wear jeans.

    I think Rush Limbaugh is an exemplar for secular conservatives. I can’t think of any one person that would typify a politically conservative Christian, partly because I see this population in a state of flux.

  • ildi

    Why Aren’t There Any Good Conservative Comedians?

    Part of it is an absence of self-deprecation in so-called “conservative comedy.” For me, the funniest stand-ups have heaped just as much abuse and scorn on themselves as on their targets (to be fair, lefty David Cross has this problem as well). When Fox News attempted their disastrous answer to The Daily Show (The 1/2 Hour News Hour), they spent the whole time making fat jokes about Hillary Clinton and comparing Obama to Marion Berry (I guess because they’re both in DC), not poking any fun at themselves.

    But that’s par for the course, really. Watch Fox, or listen to Rush Limbaugh for as long as you can stand to, and you’ll realized none of these people can take it as well as they dish it out.

  • dean

    When I hear an athlete thank Jesus for his or her particular success this cartoon comes to mind.

  • Why Aren’t There Any Good Conservative Comedians?

    Isn’t Dennis Miller conservative? I thought he was funny as a stand-up comedian. Way back when he was just a local celeb I went to the Pittsburgh Comedy Club and he was the MC, and the headliner was some guy just becoming famous–Jerry Seinfeld. That was one fun night although me and my girlfriend and two friends made the mistake of arriving early and sitting at a table up front. We were the foils all night–first for Miller and then for Seinfeld. But anyway, I recall they both were hilarious. One of my friends was Japanese and they really had fun with him–but afterwards Seinfeld sat with my friend at the bar and bought him a drink for being a good sport.

    Michael Heath,

    my goodness, George Will isn’t a typical anything. The man doesn’t wear jeans.

    Now that’s funny.

    But that’s par for the course, really. Watch Fox, or listen to Rush Limbaugh

    I don’t do either, but the cartoon Rush Limbaugh on Family Guy seemed like a real fun dude that you’d like to have a beer with.

  • ildi

    Why Aren’t Conservatives Funny?

    The attacks of September 11, 2001, turned Miller into a fawning admirer of the same president he’d once held in contempt. The change was striking not only because Miller was supporting a Republican, but because he lost his sense of irony and adopted the full complement of Fox News- Republican vices: the chest-thumping America-first bravado, the angry paranoia, the presumption of treasonous bad faith in anyone who didn’t share his views. This was especially jarring because the latter included most of Miller’s fans, who didn’t know what had happened to the guy. Dagnes, confused like the rest, watched her friends turn on Miller, and then watched the long arc of his career decline, from a failed stint hosting Monday Night Football, to a short-lived show on the financial network CNBC, and finally to his current role as comedian in residence at Fox News.


    To me, the conservative inclination to put politics before humor goes a long way toward explaining this disparity. It’s one reason why talk radio has been such a successful format for conservative entertainers (and such a challenging one for liberals, who have failed in their attempts to match it). You can’t cultivate a national television audience for a comedy show if being funny isn’t the first order of business.

    As Freud said, “humor is a socially acceptable form of aggression,” so humor that punches down is not as funny (if at all) as humor that is self-deprecating or punches up is. I think there’s the cognitive disconnect between conservatives and conservative Christians perceiving themselves as being mocked as a minority as opposed to others seeing the humor punching up at a the powerful forces in our society

  • Freeman

    Tom Tomorrow’s latest:

    Divine Intervention

  • Taz

    I think the reactions to this are overblown all the way around. While I have no doubt Kevin Durant is a devout Christian, it’s also true that giving credit to god has become a safe, stock answer athletes use in response to inane questions. And the question was inane. “Why are you on such a hot streak right now?” Beyond “I started taking steroids”, what kind of substantive answer could he give? Not that I blame Burke. There’s really nothing noteworthy that can be elicited during a sideline interview except a gaffe. It’s absurd to judge either Durant or Burke based on one. Frankly I wish they’d stop doing them.

  • teawithbertrand

    Is it just me, or do these twitterers (that can’t be the right word) sound exactly like their god? Totally intolerant of even a giggle of dissent and in constant need of obsequious praise?

  • teawithbertrand

    Also, I would love it if just once, JUST ONCE…a professional American athlete would answer one of these questions with an “Alluha Akbar” statement? Has this never happened?

  • mikeyb

    Just another form of superstition. Athletes are notorious for their superstitious practices. I know there’s more to it, but I think this is a big factor. Jesus is the ultimate good luck charm.

  • had3

    Jesus can do anything!…except play peek-a-boo…and all the rest of his issues from starving children to amputees.

  • steffp

    Last time I had a look at it, practically zero NBA players were outspoken atheists. So, all or at least most of them, as devout Christians, will have to blame Jesus for their performance, be it excellent or abysmal. They all have God on their side,, nevertheless one team wins, the other loses. It’s a bit like World War I, when all involved armies held christian field services and prayed every Sunday for the victory of their side…

    Nevertheless the allies with their superior resources, economy and logistics won. It’s like God refrains from intervention in some, if not most cases.

    In fact it’s more to do with the inflated egos of professional players: They seem to think that the son of the creator of the universe intervenes in their favor. What is meant to sound humble (“…not me, but Jesus”) is in fact the egotistic claim that one is a divine tool (“Through ME the savior acts…”). Delusion of grandeur, camouflaged as humility. Barf.

  • JESUS gave up on me as a human deserving of love and protection at about age 4.

    HE gave up on me as a student at around age 6.

    GOD started hatin’ on my athleticism when I was, maybe, 10*.

    Our Most Blessed REDEEMER seems to have decided that I was irredeemable, sometime in my late teens.

    There have been other milestones along the road to perdition that HE has led me down over the years.

    Most recently, it seems that GOD has decided that I should be afflicted, like JOB, with various physical ailments–as a test of my faith. Unlike JOB’s boils and ulcers, etc., I have been cursed by GOD with stiffening of the joints (unstiffening of the ONE joint, actually), swelling of same, pooling of lipids around my waist, narrowing of the various places where nerves enter and exit the spinal column and various other physical ailments.

    All this, HE has done for me, for his divine purpose…

    Or, I’m just one of billions of humans, among hundreds of billions (trillions or more?) of organisms moving through the arc of existence in a universe devoid of malice and benevolence alike.


    Michael Heath is correct about George Will not being a “typical conservative”. In fact, I’m pretty sure that both he and Lou Holtz (one of Football JESUS’ favored acolytes) are dummies who escaped from Edgar Bergen’s box of dummies back in the mid to late 40’s. Neither of them laughs above their mouths. As Captain Quint might have said if the movie had been called, “Flappin’ Jaws”:

    “You know the thing about Will, he’s got… lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eye. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be livin’. Until he bites ya and those black eyes roll over white. And then, ah then you hear that terrible high pitched screamin’…”

    Throw down a few brewskis with Rushbo? Hell, dude, I’d have him over for a bar-bee-kew–I’ll bet that fuckin’ fire would burn for a week.

    * I do tend to win at Trivia and beerpong. though, perhaps that’s some form of divine consolation?

  • scienceavenger

    @30 Better yet, have an athlete say “I’d like to give credit for this win to my teammates, coaches, and training staff. No gods had anything to do with it.”