NBA

Why Does Kevin Durant Engage With Haters?

Kevin Durant is a fascinating NBA character. He’s one of the five best basketball players in the world when he’s healthy. The 7-feet-tall forward’s ability to score from anywhere on the court makes him an impossible guard. However, many see Durant as a combative presence with a reputation for mishandling even the pettiest situations. 

Durant may be sitting out the season with an Achilles injury, but it hasn’t stopped him from clapping back on Twitter and letting his haters know he sees them. 

Kevin Durant on Twitter

Durant was one of the earlier adopters of Twitter, explains BroBible. Entering the league at 19 years old — around the time when Twitter began to take off — makes him a fascinating study of a young star on the internet. Initially, Durant had a different reputation. His timeline wasn’t filled with vitriolic takedowns but funny gazes into his life. 

These tweets have become part of the lexicon in NBA circles. Whether sharing his feelings about his love life, talking about watching the History Channel in the club, or giving peculiar observations about actresses, Durant’s old tweets were more about comedy than combat. After his MVP season, however, his online demeanor changed drastically. 

Once known for being the boy next door in the NBA, Durant began to fight with the media and insult them. This spilled into social media, where he often claps back at anyone who tagged him in a negative post. A vicious cycle was formed in the process. 

Kevin Durant vs. haters

From nameless fans to former teammate Kendrick Perkins, Durant continues to fight back at perceived haters on Twitter. There was the infamous moment when he seemingly got caught trying to post from a burner account, reports USA Today, but used his own to trash the Thunder.

On ESPN’s Get Up, Jalen Rose, Mike Greenberg, and Jay Williams argued about whether it was good for Durant to clap back on Twitter. Rose said he used to engage with people who mocked him, but he stopped because he felt like he was punching down. Greenberg echoed this notion, saying Durant has too much going for him to engage with fans. 

Williams, however, posited that while Durant may be too swayed by social media at times, he can also use it to further his game and motivate himself. After all, despite the criticism, he is an MVP-winner, two-time champion, and one of the biggest names in basketball. Perhaps, like Michael Jordan, the perception of dissent is what wills him to be what he is. 

Should Durant stop? 

It’s hard to say whether Durant is right or wrong. He is human, and people online can be downright cruel. Durant often lacks tact when he bad-mouths people in the media or online, but he also takes a lot of flak. The fact of the matter: Only Durant knows what this does to him, whether it’s solely a motivating factor or insecurity.

Every athlete operates in different ways. LeBron James rarely engaged with Twitter followers when they showered him with scorn for leaving Cleveland the first time. Kawhi Leonard hardly ever uses social media. But Durant does, and whether it is right or wrong, he continues to argue with fans, share his thoughts, and occasionally give entertaining insight.

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