Kevin Durant already had it tough enough with fans after fleeing Oklahoma City for the 73-win Warriors. Turns out he has been secretly arguing with fans and critics on Twitter using alternate accounts, and all hell has broken loose from there. Durant caught heat from all sides, including from some of his NBA peers.
Luckily for him, he had a chance to address the controversy almost immediately, and no, it did not involve doing so through any of his social media accounts. During an open forum at Tech Crunch in San Francisco, he was asked about the being caught disparaging his former team and the reveal of his "burner" social media accounts. Rather than resorting to "I was hacked!" Durant fessed up and apologized for the things he did and said.
I do have another Instagram account, but that's just for friends and family, so I wouldn't say I was using that to clap back at anybody. 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, and that's what happens sometimes when I get into these basketball debates, or what I really love, which is 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 that I played for. That was childish, that was idiotic, all those type of words. I regret doing that, and I apologize to them for doing that ... I will scale back a little bit right now and just focus on playing basketball. I want to move on from that, it was tough to deal with yesterday, I was really upset with myself, but definitely want to move on.
Aside from the lie about the Instagram account—there's photographic evidence of him clapping back—this is a genuine apology from Durant. Rather than trying to blame anyone over it or denying it like some in his position would have, he manned up and admitted fault, and sometimes that's most of the battle.
Some, or perhaps most of Durant's motive here is explained in another recent interview with San Francisco Magazine. While on an overseas tour of China following his free agency decision, Durant began to let doubt creep into his mind about the decision to leave Oklahoma City. A conversation between he and his agent and confidant, Rich Kleiman, reveals a lot about his mindset.
“That was before I met anybody from the Warriors and dove into the culture. I was basically on my own,” Durant says. “It was like you were in between two teams.”
“I’m telling you, I was fucked up for a while!”
“We were all messed up on jet lag,” Kleiman says, turning to me, “and I was up at 6 a.m. and he calls me and says, ‘Yo, are you up?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, what’s up?’ And he’s like [yelling], ‘Why the fuck did you let me do this to my life?’ And I’m like, ‘Ohh shit, I’m coming over to your room.’”
“That hotel was rock bottom,” says Durant.
While I wouldn't go so far as to say that gives him an excuse to do this incredibly lame stuff on social media, it does show you that Durant cares about what people think of him, even if he's tried to suggest otherwise in the past. The millions don't stop someone from being vulnerable, and Durant's major life decision doesn't seem as easy as it might appear from the outside looking in.
He's probably not winning his way back into the public's good graces any time soon, but hey, the softer side of Durant can't hurt. Just remember buddy: everyone but Warriors fans will still root for your team to implode.