Kevin Durant’s fall from grace continues

Devon Greene, Assistant Sports Editor

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Kevin Durant signed with the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 offseason and he hasn’t been the same since.

Yes, he’s been the same player on the court, but off the court, we’ve seen a Durant that is struggling to find an identity after making a move that he criticized LeBron James for making 6 years prior. Keep in mind we are talking about a former NBA MVP, a NBA Finals MVP, four-time Western Conference champion, seven-time NBA scoring champion, eight-time All-Star, seven-time All-NBA team selection and rookie of the year.

Durant, possibly the greatest scorer in NBA history, was caught creating fake Twitter and Instagram accounts to argue with people posing as a fan. That is, our second-best player in the NBA is trashing his former head coach and teammates online to try and defend his cowardly actions.

It all started on when the Oklahoma City Thunder choked away a 3-1 lead against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 Western Conference Finals. The leader of Oklahoma City couldn’t finish the job. Durant then decided on June 5 to make the most cowardly move we had ever seen a superstar player make in NBA history. He

decided to go to the 73-9 Golden State Warriors who embarrassed him in the playoffs and also blew a 3-1 lead in the Finals against the Cavaliers. I’ll spell out why this move was one of the most jaw dropping and spineless moves we had ever ever seen a future Hall of Famer make.

On Twitter, which seems to be a continuing problem for Durant, he criticized NBA players for wanting to join teams with other established superstars.

“Now everybody wants to play for the Heat and the Lakers? Let’s go back to being competitive and going at these peoples!”

As Harvey Dent said in ‘The Dark Knight,’ “You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” and Durant has become the villain. The NBA community was outraged when James decided to join the Miami Heat to combine the forces of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh calling the move “unfair.” Here’s where it was different. Cleveland was an unstable franchise that couldn’t grab James a second-best player other than Zydrunas Ilgauskas and an old deteriorating Shaquille O’Neal. James left a franchise that had been poorly run over their entire duration of their history. All the evidence needed to justify James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010 was the results they produced in the season following his departure. The Cavaliers were 61-21 with James in 2009, and they dropped to an abysmal 19-63 without the superstar. Durant left a team that was in the Western Conference Finals who handed away a finals appearance and left to the team that beat him.

Durant is the biggest example of a person who tries to show publicly that he doesn’t care about public’s perception and what we think about him, but proves to be a petty coward behind the scenes. It was funny in the beginning when he wore the cupcake hat after winning the Finals to comeback at all of his critics. Then he just kept piling it on and it got to the range of being overboard and it’s left me wondering whom he’s trying to convince anymore. He’s released two pairs of shoes. One pair once again, going at the cupcake label and the second pair, definitely the most noteworthy, had the insults that anonymous internet people threw his way.

One of the most embarrassing and surprising developments in the Durant story was when it came to light that he has created multiple social media accounts that he regularly uses. Monday, on Twitter, Durant was asked by a fan to give him one other reason for leaving Oklahoma City other than ringchasing. Then, Durant replied from his official account, which he apparently forgot to log out of, and replied.

“He didn’t like the organization or playing for Billy Donovan. His roster wasn’t that good, it was just him and Russ.” Durant said. “Imagine taking Russ off that team, see how bad they were. KD can’t win a championship with those cats.”

This could’ve easily been a slip up by one of Durant’s assistants or social media handlers that forgot to switch out of his main account, we’ve seen that mistake made before with the Texas Rangers in baseball when one of their social media handlers called for the firing of Texas head coach Charlie Strong. He could’ve discounted it as a hack by a crazed fan. There were multiple moves he could’ve chosen to reason out why someone was defending him online in the third person from his primary twitter. But, yesterday, Durant admitted that it was indeed him who was the culprit.

“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.” Durant said. “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. So, I want to move on from that. It was tough to deal with yesterday, I was really upset with myself. But I definitely want to move on and keep playing basketball. But I still want to interact with my fans as well.”

He went on to say that he hasn’t slept or eaten in days.

Durant used to be one of the most respected players in the NBA. He was a homegrown hero that rose above all the odds in a rough childhood to take a small market NBA team in Oklahoma to the Finals. He gave a MVP speech that touched the hearts of millions of people across the country. Then he ripped those hearts out in the move that left the NBA world in shock. He abandoned those values and principles that he stood by in Oklahoma and transformed into a lesser man and competitior and he’s now proved to us  that he himself is having trouble dealing with his decisions.

Durant lost himself when he went to the Valley. Now he’s lashing out at fans because he’s trying to convince himself that what he did was justified. He needs to get back to the man we saw with the Oklahoma City Thunder, instead of the insecure petulant child he’s transformed into during his tenure with the Golden State Warriors.

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