Kevin Durant v. Twitter
Kevin Durant is universally recognized as one of the greatest scorers that the NBA has ever seen. His unique combination of size, speed, and shooting ability is something that the league had never seen before. Kevin Durant was drafted by the Seattle Supersonics, and after his rookie season, the team moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. He led the Thunder to a finals appearance in 2012 against the Miami Heat, and lost in five games. He won the MVP award during the 2013-14 season, and was seen as the franchise player for the Thunder.
Over the course of the next few seasons after Durant’s MVP, Russell Westbrook began to develop into the most explosive player in the NBA, and the team saw its focus shift to Westbrook’s style of play, and Durant became unhappy playing second fiddle. In the offseason before the 2016-17 NBA season, Durant was a free agent, and he was the most coveted player on the market. He chose to sign with the Golden State Warriors, which was met with much criticism, and Durant found himself in a role he had never been in before, the villain.
Oklahoma City fans were devastated, and were very vocal about how disappointed they were in Durant’s decision. Fans burned his jersey, called him a “cupcake”, and have been flooding his twitter mentions with the snake emoji ever since he left them.
Durant has never shied away from his critics and has often responded to those in his twitter mentions, and this summer, he has taken his antics to a whole new level. After winning the NBA Finals and taking home the Finals MVP award, he has worked on expanding his brand on the internet, from making content on his YouTube channel, to challenging strangers to 1-on-1 games on twitter. He had caused plenty of controversy when he appeared on the Bill Simmons Podcast, saying that people didn’t want to play in Under Armour basketball shoes, and people thought that he was taking a shot at his teammate, Stephen Curry, who is currently the face of Under Armour. He had to later come out and say he was joking, and Curry had a talk with him making sure they had a mutual understanding of the situation.
Over the weekend, many thought that Durant had taken his antics too far. He responded to a critic on twitter by explaining his reasoning for leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder, something he had yet to do in public. He said, “He didn’t like the organization or playing for Billy Donovan. His roster wasn’t that good, it was just him and russ [...] Imagine taking russ off that team, see how bad they were. KD can’t win a championship with those cats”. He was talking about himself in the third person as well, which is evidence that Durant meant to send these out on an alternate, private twitter account instead of his own. Durant apologized the next day and has expressed his remorse, and his tweets have been met with mixed reviews.
His old fans in Oklahoma City are still upset that he would leave the Thunder, even though it was in his best interest to leave, so subsequently, they are not pleased with the tweets. Many people in the media have applauded Durant for speaking freely, they agreed with his reasoning, and now many of them feel like they have a better understanding as to why he left the Thunder.
Me personally, I do not have a problem with what Durant tweeted, all of the information that he gave made sense to me, but I do think there was a better way of getting his message out there. Obviously this was meant to come from an alternate account, but I mean, Kevin Durant is a human just like the rest of us, but I have much more respect for the man after seeing how he has handled the situation. I appreciate his transparency, and it makes me feel closer to him as a person and as a player, and hearing his various apologies about the situation just shows me how important he takes his role as a role model. He made a mistake, and apologized, but most importantly, he told the truth, and didn’t fall on the classic “I was hacked” crutch that most professional athletes do.
I think that the trolls in Durant’s mentions need to back off at this point. He’s a regular guy just like the rest of us, and he is one of the good guys in the NBA. I now have an even greater appreciation for Kevin Durant as a player and as a human.
Also, check out Kevin Durant’s documentary of his journey through the NBA playoffs on his Youtube Channel. Click Here to check it out.