When the news about Kevin Durant’s weird online double life first came to light most people just chuckled and moved on. But as more details came out, it only deepened the intrigue. Here’s a guy who has made a theme out of responding to trolls this summer suddenly forced to admit that he saves all his most potent retorts for his alternate account.
Now, at first, most of us here at Golden State of Mind didn’t want to touch this story (you can read the full play-by-play breakdown from Bleacher Report, if you like). Who really cares who Durant talks to online, or how he does it? But as I thought on it more, I feel like I have some insight to add.
You see - brace yourselves here folks - my name is not really Duby Dub Dubs. I use a fake online persona to disguise myself in order to be able to fully enjoy the internet (GSOM in particular) and I don’t see why Durant wouldn’t be able to enjoy the same freedom.
But that isn’t the problem we have here. No one is disputing Durant’s right to have a private Instagram account, it’s just the way he uses it that’s causing a reaction. In my example, it would be like creating a secondary account in order to rec my own articles here on GSOM, or defend them anonymously over twitter or Reddit or something (I don’t do any of that, I swear!).
“Sockpuppetry,” the use false identities for deception, has been around for a long time, and will probably never go away. It’s the entire premise of Disney’s take on the Aladdin story, but the issue now is that we are getting much better at detecting the deception — just ask this author who got outed for manipulating reviews on Amazon.
No, the problem that most seem to have with the news about Durant though isn’t about the existence of the second account, but rather, what he is using it for: petty squabbling over the internet.
Golden State's King Petty is out here trolling teenagers...— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) September 19, 2017
Via @getnickwright pic.twitter.com/aM4UcP0KtM
So, let’s look at this for a moment and unpack what Durant actually did though. Because this “petty” squabbling may look a bit different when you understand Durant’s reality.
I’m certainly not anywhere near as famous, but I use my name here to hide myself so that these basketball articles aren’t attached to my professional life. In a similar vein, Durant has been using his other account to interact with people in a way that is quite frankly more honest than his usual self.
Durant is more than a person, he’s a brand. We hear this mantra thrown around a lot, but the reality is that Durant has to tightly control what he says at all times. For a guy who wants to defend himself or be brutally honest, it isn’t hard to imagine how constraining this could feel.
Judge away, and certainly feel free to mock him mercilessly with memes if that’s your thing — but just read this answer he gives on why he left the Thunder:
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
As much as we all suspected it, Durant has never before come out and said he disliked the Thunder organization nor that he didn’t enjoy playing for coach Billy Donovan. Without the illusion of anonymity, we never would have heard this from Durant. So yes, it is petty, and weird, but it is not something that anyone should freak out about.
And Durant, for his part, understands what a bad look this is. He unequivocally apologized for his behavior today and admitted that it was “childish.”
Full Kevin Durant comment on his tweets yesterday regarding Donovan, OKC pic.twitter.com/wtfocllp3s— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) September 19, 2017
So rather than getting all bent out of shape about this whole kerfuffle, let’s just all take a page out of Draymond Green’s book and laugh through this weirdness. Durant is still one of the best basketball players in the world and none of this nonsense matters on the court.