Finally, an NBA champion. A Finals MVP. It would seem Kevin Durant should be over the reactions to his leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors. However, and it’s not surprising considering what we keep learning about him, he isn’t.
An interesting tidbit from his interview with Bleacher Report referred to the nicknames and reaction, especially from Thunder fans, following Durant’s decision to leave in free agency and join the Warriors, a team that just finished an NBA record 73-9, knocked the Thunder out of the playoffs and lost in the NBA finals.
I’m like, hold up. Michael Jordan did not go through this. You know what Michael Jordan went through? Reading the paper and it says, ‘Oh, Michael Jordan was 7-for-33 the night before, how the f*** is he going to bounce back?’ That’s criticism. Criticism is not, ‘(blank), you moved to (blank), you’re a bitch-, a coward.’ That’s not criticism. Criticism is calling me Mr. Unreliable and bouncing back the next night.
Jordan played in a different era, when social media wasn’t so prominent, wasn’t so everywhere. Durant had to deal with more than just mainstream media or people on the streets criticizing him for his decision to leave the Thunder. The reaction to his decision was on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and what not, 24/7. Durant probably chose Jordan to compare to and not LeBron James, because the reaction to James joining the Miami Heat was much worse. But Durant, as always, takes the conversation to making him out to be a victim.
Durant never handled the newly made perception of him very well. From his comments right after joining the Warriors, to the things he has said over time, and especially him being caught using several Twitter accounts to give himself praises online. Durant is an incredible basketball player, and actually mentally tough on the court, but there’s something very difficult to praise and like about the contrast between his on-court self (which is easier to be on the team he’s playing for) and his actual self, which breaks the illusion of a world class athlete who is nothing like the common man.
Durant can’t expect fans to sympathize with him while he keeps talking about how rough he has it. Fans hate it when people making an 8-figure salary attempt to make it seem like they have regular problems, especially when it’s Durant. There’s no loyalty in the NBA, but people hate it when it’s thrown in their face. Just like Durant hates the to see what the consequences of his decision meant to so many fans.