Because we live in a day and age where stuff is happening all the time and we’re constantly being bombarded with information as things happen, big moments in the past can feel like they occurred eons ago. An example: In the time since Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant had a burner social media account saga in Sept. 2017, the NBA has gone through — conservatively — 500 billion different news cycles, including another burner social media account saga involving then-Philadelphia 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo.
Still, there was something uniquely odd about the Durant saga, because one of he two or three-best basketball players on earth going to the lengths Durant did to defend himself against Twitter randos is legitimately fascinating. As we learned from the latest clip from ESPN+’s “The Boardroom,” Durant was a bit surprised by the reaction to the ordeal, and he had his reason for creating the accounts.
“I wasn’t used to that amount of attention from playing basketball,” Durant said. “I wanted a place where I can talk to my friends without anybody just butting in my conversations or mixing my words or taking everything out of context because I enjoyed that place.”
Durant went on to say he liked having a place where he can be on social media but communicate with his family and friends without random people chiming in, a sentiment is nice, but doesn’t quite explain why he was replying to people and defending himself while pretending to be someone else. The sentiment was, however, shared by C.J. McCollum, who joined “The Boardroom” for this discussion.
“You can’t live a normal life anymore,” McCollum said. “You can’t go on vacation, you can’t post happy pictures, you’re supposed to be depressed. Everything comes back to you losing the game, they’re telling you to get in the gym.”
It’s certainly not wrong — there is an argument to be made that fans take losses far too hard and let their fandom get in the way of athletes being humans, and social media amplifies this because it gives fans a direct line to air grievances to players. Adam Silver alluded to the perils of social media during his sit down at the Sloan Sports Analytic Conference with Bill Simmons, and these comments from Durant and McCollum add some credence to the commissioner’s claim.