Kevin Durant addresses Twitter drama, Thunder bashing: 'I went a little too far'
In an appearance at TechCrunch’s Disrupt SF 2017 event, Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant addressed the Twitter controversy that took social media by storm over the weekend, apologizing for a pair of tweets throwing his former Oklahoma City Thunder coach and teammates under the bus.
“I went a little too far,” said Durant.
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As for the predominant theory that Durant intended to tweet under a pseudonym, but accidentally posted the messages through his verified account, the reigning NBA Finals MVP said he does operate an Instagram account under a different name, but skirted the issue with respect to his Twitter drama.
“I do have another Instagram account, but that’s just for my friends and family, so I wouldn’t say that I was using that to clap back at anybody,” he said, “but I use Twitter to engage with the fans. I think it’s a great way to engage with basketball fans, but I happened to take it a little too far. That’s what happens sometimes when I get into these basketball debates. What I really love is to just play basketball, and I went a little too far.
“I don’t regret clapping back at anybody or talking to my fans on Twitter. I do regret using my former coach’s name and my former organization that I played for. That was childish, that was idiotic, all those type of words. I regret doing that, and I apologized to them for doing that, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop engaging with my fans. I think they really enjoy it, and I think it’s a good way to connect us all.
“But I will scale back a little bit right now and just focus on playing basketball, so I want to move on from that. It was tough to deal with yesterday. I was really upset with myself. I definitely want to move on and keep playing basketball, but I still want to interact with my fans as well.”
Durant’s since-deleted tweets were prompted by this message from a Twitter follower:
@KDTrey5 man I respect the hell outta you but give me one legitimate reason for leaving okc other than getting a championship
— dis alot (@ColeCashwell) September 18, 2017
And here’s how Durant responded:
Durant’s responses in the third person were the strangest part. It’s a voice he had not previously used in his many past question-and-answer sessions on social media. That led internet sleuths to think he intended to send the tweets from a ghost account to make it seem like someone else was defending his decision to leave the Thunder for the team that beat them in the 2016 Western Conference finals.
It’s all very stupid and ridiculous, and it makes sense why he would want to downplay that aspect.
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“No, (there’s) no different account,” Durant told USA Today. “I was just on there talking. It kind of looked that way — it did kind of look that way.”
Yes, it did look that way, because of the whole third-person thing. Care to explain?
“I was at home” Durant added in an eight-minute interview with USA Today’s Sam Amick. “I fell asleep watching football. I woke up, had charged my phone, and I just happened to look on Twitter. And I see (the person’s comment that sparked his response), and I just don’t remember it. I remember what I said and how I said it, but I just forget everything else. I forgot everything else. I was only focused on that convo, and that was unfortunate. I look like an idiot. My peers are going to look at me like an idiot. All the jokes — bring ‘em. I deserve it.
“The second I realized what I did, I felt like (expletive). Like I said, I look at that stuff as a joke and a big game. Sometimes when I’m in it, I take it too far and I’m in it too much, too deep. But it’s just out of sight, out of mind. I won’t fall into that problem again. I definitely have to move on and not worry about anybody on Twitter, even though it’s fun, you know what I mean?”
Ah, the old “I just don’t remember” excuse. At least it’s better than “I was hacked.” Durant apparently just woke up when he fired off the tweets, and he told USA Today that he’s had trouble sleeping and eating since, because it’s so upsetting. Hopefully he doesn’t sleepwalk into another Twitter drama.
Given his yearlong feud with ex-teammate Russell Westbrook, it is interesting that Durant said he apologized to Oklahoma City’s coach and players for saying, “He didn’t like the organization or playing for Billy Donovan,” and, “Imagine taking Russ off that team, see how bad they were.” An apology doesn’t really take the sting off those remarks, which were odd anyway, since the Thunder were a Klay Thompson 3-point barrage in Game 6 of the conference finals away from reaching the 2016 Finals.
It is notable that Durant copped to an Instagram pseudonym, since Reddit users appeared to uncover that account, and it contains some NSFW third-person language directed at his social media haters. “Your d*** riding a** got KD on your page,” said one message from Durant’s alleged (and since-deleted) @quiresultan account, cleaned up for your reading displeasure. “Your bum a** was beggin’ for a picture and then start talking s*** on Instagram. Gorillas don’t do that. b****es do that.”
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid had a little fun at that pseudonym’s expense on Monday night:
JOEL EMBIID IS BETTER THAN MJ EVER WAS @QuireSultan #FACTS #BurnerTwitter
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) September 18, 2017
For NBA fans upset at Durant for leaving the Thunder to join a 73-win Warriors team, this is anything but funny. It’s more ammunition for his haters, who will surely see his deleted tweets as further evidence of a thin-skinned superstar who left Oklahoma City for an easier road to a championship.
Whether that’s the case or not, Durant is a champion and Finals MVP, which makes it all the more odd that he’s responding in the third person to trolls questioning his decision 14 months after the fact.
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Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don’t Lie and Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach