Kevin Durant got caught sending out some unkind tweets about his old team, and he has decided to own those comments.
A day after the Warriors forward criticized his former Thunder teammates and head coach Billy Donovan, Durant apologized for his "childish" and "idiotic" social media behavior. While making an appearance on stage at TechCrunch 2017 in San Francisco on Tuesday, Durant said he took his interaction with a fan "a little too far."
"I use Twitter to engage with fans," Durant said (via The Athletic's Anthony Slater). "I think it's a great way to engage with basketball fans. I happened to take it a little too far. That's what happens sometimes when I get into these basketball debates about what I really love, to play basketball. 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 the former organization I played for. That was childish. That was idiotic, all those types of words. I apologize for that."
Kevin Durant calls his criticisms of Thunder, Billy Donovan "childish" and "idiotic" at Tech Crunch in SF pic.twitter.com/2Y0zwWyDKi
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) September 19, 2017
"I don't think I'll stop engaging with fans," Durant continued. "I really enjoy it, and it's a good way to connect us all, but I'll scale back a little bit right now and just focus on playing basketball. I'll move on from that. It was tough to deal with yesterday. I was pretty mad at myself. Definitely want to move on and keep playing basketball."
Durant has since deleted the tweets about the Thunder, but there is still the question of why he responded in the third person. And that's not even mentioning the fact that Durant's time with the Thunder was extremely successful, including the team's 2015-16 run under Donovan which nearly ended in a trip to the NBA Finals before the Thunder fell to the Warriors despite having a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference finals.
His unusual phrasing led internet detectives down a rabbit hole which ended with the discovery of what appeared to be Durant's private Instagram account used to battle trolls online. At the TechCrunch event, Durant said he has another Instagram account for friends and family, but not to "clap back at anyone." This is a truly bizarre situation in need of more explanation, but it looks like this is all we'll get for now.
So KD is hitting the brakes on social media, but he isn't completely stopping. This tweet from 2009 remains true to this day...
I LIKE ARGUING WIT PPL..
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) December 2, 2009
UPDATE: Durant continued to express remorse and disappointment in himself after speaking as part of the TechCrunch panel. He told USA Today's Sam Amick he never wanted to hurt the Thunder, and he did send an apology to Donovan.
"I look at my life as like a big playground streetball game, because I play in the NBA and I try to — when I think about playing in the NBA, that’s how small I try to make it, so I can control it and so I can really feel the joy of playing basketball," Durant said. "It’s just another way of me talking trash. Like I said, I took it too far, and I regret talking about Billy and the Thunder.
"It’s just stupid of me. I feel so bad about this s—, because I don’t never want to affect anybody else with what I say.”
Durant added that he was not tweeting from any secret or fake account, though he understood why some would think that. He was simply scanning Twitter and decided to engage in that particular conversation.
"What I thought was a joke is serious to everybody else, and I lost sight of that and I apologize for that," Durant said. "But I’m going to move on. I’m going to move on, and I’m going to play basketball. You can take what you want from it, do what you want with it, but it happened. I’m going to take it on the chin and move on."