Column: How to protect yourself from Kevin Durant online

(Keith Allison/Wikimedia Creative Commons)

On Monday morning, the sports world was stunned by the news that Kevin Durant most likely uses fake Twitter accounts to defend himself online and argue with 16-year-olds. This creates a frightening reality for all of us on social media. Anybody we interact with online could be Kevin Durant and we would never know.

Is that really grandma wishing you a happy birthday on your Facebook wall? How do you know @DevinKurant53 is who he says he is? When you swipe right, could you really be swiping past a four-time NBA scoring leader?

These are uncertain times we live in. To help protect yourself online, I’ve come up with some tips and tricks to best keep Durant out of your mentions.

Tip #1: Don’t talk about how the Thunder’s roster was built around Durant

This is a big one. Durant tweeted Monday, “His roster wasn’t that good, it was just him and russ.” Avoid mentioning that as great as Durant and Westbrook are, teams that are just two players don’t come within one game of the NBA Finals.

Just like Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant had a good team around them, Durant and Westbrook had a team full of quality players to help support them. Andre Roberson is one of the better perimeter defenders in the NBA. Steven Adams and Serge Ibaka were as intimidating a frontcourt as any, even if Ibaka had started to decline.

Yes, there were some major holes in the team last year. It’s almost like they lost one of the best scorers in NBA history. This was a team good enough to go up 3-1 against the 73-win Warriors.

The Thunder made it to the Western Conference finals four times in six years. OKC isn’t some downtrodden franchise. Talking about this online is just asking for several Durant burner accounts to flood your notifications.

Tip #2: Don’t point out that Billy Donovan will probably be a good head coach

In his two seasons as a head coach in the NBA, Billy Donovan has made the playoffs twice. The Thunder finished 6th in the Western Conference last year, and we all know how far they got the year before. Which is why Durant’s claim that he “didn’t like playing for Billy Donovan” is so strange.

While Donovan has had the luxury to coach two of the NBA’s elite, he’s not a bad head coach. It’s easy to look at what Westbrook did last year and say he carried the Thunder, but Donovan did a great job of managing a roster that went through major changes. The Thunder brought in three new players at the trade deadline, and Donovan did a great job of working them into the system.

Contrary to what Durant would have you believe, the Thunder exceeded expectations last year, and Donovan should share some of the credit. Almost every coach in the NBA wishes they could have Donovan’s first two years. If Durant preferred the previous head coach, Scotty Brooks, that’s one thing, but giving credit where credit is due to Donovan is just too much apparently for the former MVP.

Tip #3: Don’t mention that Al Horford probably would have come to OKC

If the Thunder’s present roster wasn’t enough to convince Durant to stay in OKC, it probably shouldn’t be mentioned that Al Horford was strongly considering signing with the Thunder and reuniting with his college head coach.  

OKC was supposedly the leader in the race to get the All-Star big man, but Horford instead choose to go to Boston after not getting assurance that either Durant or Westbrook would stay long-term.

If Durant had committed to staying in OKC early in free agency, we would be looking at a potential starting lineup of Westbrook, Roberson, Durant, Horford and Adams. That would be a lineup that could compete with Golden State for Western Conference supremacy.  


Bryan Lambert is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at bryan.lambert@uconn.edu. He tweets @OfficialBrett.