One of the NBA’s longest-tenured players thinks Kevin Durant probably needs to log off and take a little bit more time to enjoy the fact that he’s won two NBA titles in a row, preferably while his phone is turned off.
Durant’s online story is interesting, if you’re into thinking about the lives people live online. He was not what you expect out of an NBA player early on in his Twitter days — he pined for actresses and made weird jokes. It was all very harmless, if not a bit odd. Then, as being online tends to do to people, things started changing. A portion of the population turned on him when he left Oklahoma City for Golden State, meaning the former NBA MVP gained a sizable amount of haters, many of which also live online.
Last summer it seemed that winning his first NBA title allowed him to relax once more, and he was his fun-loving self again, gleefully responding to people at all hours and joking that a teacher who spoke ill of him should be sent to jail. The Warriors didn’t love what came next, though: Durant was outed for having burner social media accounts to take on his critics.
The reveal brought to an end what was lovingly called the Summer of KD, but a second NBA title seems to have brought Durant out of his shell again. He’s chirping at trolls once more, especially after he and Blazers guard C.J. McCollum busted one another’s chops on a podcast and, then, on Twitter.
Dirk Nowitzki, despite apparently not following Durant on Twitter, has taken notice. He appeared on the Dan Patrick Show on Friday and was asked about Durant’s social media havits. Though the longest-tenured player on the Mavericks didn’t flat out say that KD needs to log off, he did say Twitter is supposed to be fun and that Durant needs to learn to ignore the haters, not engage with them.
“I don’t follow him on Twitter, but obviously it’s tough not to see what’s going on,” Nowitzki said. “I just think overall, and in general, I don’t know why you would get engaged with fans talking trash. I like having fun with it. I get hit up on Twitter every now and then in my mentions. ‘Hey, you’re old. Go away. Retire.’ Or something like that. To me, it’s fun. You’re not supposed to be sensitive about it. That’s how I look at it.”
It’s not Dirk telling Durant to stop as much as it is him saying to relax a bit, which in this context basically means just don’t respond.
“I’m not sure why KD feels the need to respond to some of the stuff,” Nowitzki said. “Twitter is just such a place for tough guys and a lot of hate. I take it with a smile on my face. You can’t take yourself too serious on there.”
It’s kind of amazing, given how many endorsement deals and different things KD has his hand in, that he doesn’t just have someone handling his social media accounts at this point, but maybe Durant wants it this way. It must be frustrating, though, to have millions of followers with direct access to you and your emotions. It can twist your perception of the world if you let it. For Nowitzki, people that have negative things to say are simply to be ignored, but not everyone takes that approach.