The last couple of days have seen conflicting reports about whether or not the Golden State Warriors felt the Oklahoma City Thunder showed insufficient public respect for ex-OKC superstar Kevin Durant when he returned last month for his first ever game at Chesapeake Energy Arena as a visitor. Whatever the truth in that weird and probably-unworthy-of-much-if-any-thought situation really is, this much we know to be true: one Thunder fan, at least, remains committed to insulting KD by comparing him to a baked good.
A post shared by Ball Don't Lie (@yahooballdontlie) on Mar 21, 2017 at 7:21am PDT
Yes, that is a cupcake wearing Durant’s No. 35. And yes, that cupcake is using a crutch under its left arm as it moves around, to take pressure off its left leg — which, as you’ll recall, is the side on which Durant suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament and bone bruise on his knee, an injury that has kept him on the shelf since Feb. 28 and that rendered him unable to take the court against his former team on Monday night.
On my way. Running a little late because of my crutches. #KDtrey5
— CupcakeKD (@CupcakeKD) March 20, 2017
If you’re wondering why, exactly, someone would dress up like a cupcake to troll Durant, let’s turn back to Lee Jenkins’ wonderful October profile of Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook, as he prepared to head into his first season without Durant running alongside him:
Westbrook didn’t disparage Durant. He didn’t judge him. All he did was take a picture. When Kendrick Perkins played center for the Thunder, he called teammates “cupcake” if he thought they were acting a little soft. Westbrook and Durant adopted the term in jest. Westbrook posted a bittersweet pic on Instagram: three plates of cupcakes topped by red and blue stars and sprinkles.
A post shared by Russell Westbrook (@russwest44) on Jul 4, 2016 at 10:40am PDT
That led to plenty of cupcake shirts, signs, chants and references during KD’s February return … and, yes, one bright yellow cupcake costume.
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) February 12, 2017
Who’s inside the costume? As Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman learned last month, a 9-year-old named Lucy:
Brent Irish bought it for himself.
He found a cupcake costume on the internet — because of course you can — and the Golden State Warriors patches, too. And his plan was to wear it to Cheseapeake Energy Arena on Saturday to, um, welcome Kevin Durant back to Oklahoma City as a member of the Warriors.
“Durant’s really soft,” Irish said. “He’s gonna need all the help he can get, and I thought having his own mascot here would really help.”
He wasn’t wearing the costume.
Irish couldn’t get out the door in it on Saturday, because 9-year-old daughter Lily insisted she be the one suited up. So she walked around in pregame at The Peake, holding her dad’s hand and stopping periodically to pose for pictures.
“Hundreds,” Brent Irish said.
Now, not everybody was quite so sour:
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) March 20, 2017
… and KD, for what it’s worth, doesn’t appear to be in need of that crutch anymore:
By the way, Kevin Durant is indeed on the bench. Moving pretty well, too.
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) March 21, 2017
… which is nice.
After the Warriors blew the Thunder out in February, they took a bunch of cupcake-emblazoned T-shirts and wore them during their post-game interviews to return trolling fire:
Steph Curry took a cupcake T-shirt with him to the locker room. "It's a souvenir for bigger and better things," he said.
— Tim Cato (@tim_cato) February 12, 2017
After pulling off another comfortable win over the Thunder on Monday, I wonder if one of the Dubs tried to track Lucy or her dad down to ask if they could have the crutch — y’know, as a “souvenir for bigger and better things.” Then again, maybe leaving Oklahoma with their fourth straight blowout win over Westbrook and company represents a lovely enough parting gift for the defending Western Conference champs. When the cake’s that sweet, do you really need icing?
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