After averaging 35.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 5.4 assists in the 2017 NBA Finals and winning his first title, Kevin Durant has spent the entire offseason clapping back at his haters online.
Usually KD's pretty slick about it. But on Sunday, a Twitter user noticed something unusual about Durant's response to a fan's criticism of him leaving Oklahoma City:
KD has secret accounts that he uses to defend himself and forgot to switch to them when he was replying to this guy I'm actually speechless pic.twitter.com/9245gnpa3c- 🐗 1-1 / ✭ 1-1 (@harrisonmc15) September 18, 2017
In the two tweets above from Durant's official account, he is referring to himself in the third person, and claims that he didn't like the Thunder organization or playing for head coach Billy Donovan. Durant also went on to say that the rest of Oklahoma City's roster outside of Russell Westbrook was not built to compete for championships.
Set aside for a minute that Durant's claims are not necessarily true, given that the 2015-16 Thunder were one Western Conference Finals win away from eliminating a Warriors team that won 73 games during the regular season, the immediate question was:
Did Durant forget to switch to a separate Twitter account that he operates to post these replies in defense of himself?
The online community raced to figure out the truth, and while the most plausible theory is that Durant does indeed have a secret Twitter account where he defends himself, it is also possible that his accounts are managed by people within his inner circle who simply forgot to switch out of Durant's account before posting those replies. And then there's also the tried and true explanation for any social media mishap: that Durant was hacked. The responses in question have since been deleted, but the investigation into Durant's secret online life did not stop there.
Members of NBA Reddit found an Instagram user named quiresultan, who has defended Durant in the comments section. The account in question is followed by several NBA players, and has been tagged before in a photo posted by Durant's brother, which included KD. There are plenty of other hints as well that point to this being Durant's secret Instagram account. The user avatar of the account is a photo from the movie "Goodfellas," one of Durant's favorites. The username quiresultan also appears to be a reference to Quire Avenue and Sultan Avenue, streets in Capitol Heights, Md., which happens to be Durant's hometown.
By Monday, the Instagram account in question had changed its username, while Durant has resumed tweeting on his account. While everyone will move on from this, it is worth asking why Durant would even consider using alias accounts to respond to haters online, if that is what he is doing. Certainly, Durant himself has been candid enough in responding to all the criticism directed toward him for leaving the Thunder and forming a superteam in Golden State, but comments like the above regarding the Thunder organization and Donovan would certainly not fly if it were attached to Durant's name directly.
Even after winning a title, the only accomplishment missing from his career resume, Durant seems intent, and in a way more emboldened to face all of the criticism about him head on. And it's not just through social media. The latest iteration of Durant's signature sneaker, the KD10, is a Finals edition that features some of the names he's been called (including quitter, weak, follower, soft, snake, and KowarD) and his 2017 Finals box scores scribbled on the insoles:
Maybe the media spotlight of the past two seasons -- first with all the questions of whether he would stay in Oklahoma City, to the high stakes environment of joining Golden State after they blew a 3-1 lead in the -- was so exhausting for Durant that he feels that it's now time to respond to everyone who has wronged him. Or winning the championship didn't bring him enough joy that going online to respond to everyone made it that much sweeter. Or he simply has enough time on his hands and refuses to let haters online control his own career narrative.
Whatever it is, add this saga to another crazy NBA offseason.