Kevin Durant praises Bucs’ Giovani Bernard for handling reporters after awkward exchange | Daily Mail Online

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant heaped praise on Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Giovani Bernard for handling his awkward exchange with two media reporters ‘like a true pro’ after being asked questions on a fake punt in Sunday’s 34-23 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals

A clip of the NFL player went viral on social media after he stood to speak to reporters in the wake of what appeared to have been an argument between the two parties. 

‘Entitlement in this world has gone to another level,’ Durant said on social media. ‘Media believes they are responsible for the popularity of the game.’ 

The two-time NBA champion was responding to a fan who had tweeted that ‘these reporters are so full of themselves.’ 

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant applauded Bucs’ running back Giovani Bernard after he stood up for himself against reporters following a 34-23 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday

Bucs running back Giovani Bernard didn’t want to talk to the media about what happened on the botched fake punt. Here’s that interaction.

Note: As reporters, it is our job to seek clarity on what happened, especially on the most pivotal play of a game.

— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN)

Bernard originally didn’t want to take questions on a fake punt attempt that he fumbled in the third quarter of Sunday’s game

After taking a 17-3 lead into halftime on Sunday, the Bucs suffered five straight turnovers in a nightmarish second half to lose back-to-back games this month after getting blown away by the San Francisco 49ers last week (7-35). 

Unfortunately for Bernard, things started going downhill for Tampa Bay in the third quarter after he botched a fake punt on a fourth-and-1 with 13:34 left on the clock. 

The running back didn’t get a firm grip on the football and had to get down quickly on the loose ball for a two-yard loss at Tampa Bay’s 16-yard line. The Bucs held the Bengals to a field goals and still led 17-6 after that error. However, Bernard’s blunder started a succession of errors that allowed the Bengals to get back into the game and outscore the Bucs 17-0 in the third quarter to take a 20-17 lead. 

Cincinnati would go on to outscore its opponent, 31-6 in the second half. 

Punting team in .. trick play to Giovani Bernard fumble recovered by Markus Bailey#Bengals 3 #Buccaneers 17 3rd

— Sᴘᴏʀᴛs 24/7 (@Sports_24x7_)

Bernard’s Sunday didn’t seem to improve after the game when he tried to leave the Bucs locker room without taking any questions from reporters. When approached, a sense of tension followed. 

The 31-year-old even dared to ask reporters why they wanted to speak with him when they rarely sought his comments this season. 

At one point, one reporter can be heard asking: ‘What have you done for us to talk to you about all year?’ 

Bernard has only featured in five games for the Bucs this season due to an ankle injury and ESPN’s Jenna Laine could be heard telling the player: ‘You were injured all year!’

‘Can I go to my family that I have outside?’ Bernard then asked. 

‘You can. Just don’t say we didn’t talk to you all year,’ another reporter said in response. 

Bernard, 31, has only featured in five games for the Bucs this season due to an ankle injury

Moving on from the awkward exchange, Bernard fielded questions but repeatedly provided the same answer over and over again when asked about his fumble on the fake punt attempt. 

‘Miscommunication, that’s all it was on my part,’ the ex-Bengals running back said. ‘I take complete fault for that.’ 

‘It was all me,’ he added when asked on his awareness of the play and whether the team had ever practiced it before. 

Bucs coach Todd Bowles later confirmed that the team didn’t execute his idea as planned.

‘He missed the ball,’ the 59-year-old said. ‘Yeah, we needed one yard. We had it. We practised it all week. We just didn’t handle the football.’

The Bucs are now 6-8 after Sunday’s loss but are still top of the NFC South despite being below .500. Tampa Bay next plays the Arizona Cardinals on Christmas Day.

Kevin Durant praises Bucs’ Giovani Bernard for handling reporters after awkward exchange

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