Kevin Durant, who might not be the NBA’s consensus best player but is widely regarded as the league’s No. 1 lame, might’ve put his embarrassing Twitter fiasco from this summer behind him after apologizing and weathering the storm of jokes. But he never addressed the crux of the issue, the thing that made Stephen Jackson lose all respect for him, which was whether or not he intended to tweet the tweets, which were written in the third person, from an anonymous burner account he secretly maintained. Until now, that is! Turns out, Durant claims he doesn’t have burners and was just sort of sleepy that day. Okay!
GQ has a new profile of Durant up today, and while it is (slightly) less Drakean than the last one, it’s still revealing in some interesting ways. The writer, Zach Baron, was fortunate enough to sit down with Durant the day after the Warriors star sent the infamous tweets. Durant had a different explanation for why he chose to pop shots at his old Thunder teammates and coach than the one everyone else had logically arrived at:
The Internet was alive with a gleeful debate about whether Durant had a second, secret Twitter account. That wasn’t the case, he told me. He did write the posts, but on his own account, he said. He described it as a dissociative episode: He woke up from a nap, and “it just felt like I was on the outside looking in at a conversation. I had to walk in and just be like, ‘Nah.’” Either way, he appeared thin-skinned and a bit disingenuous, inexplicably absorbed in criticism during the pinnacle of his professional life. Even worse was what he’d actually said in the posts: After a year of maintaining a scrupulous, respectful silence about his old coach and his old team, he’d finally let slip what seemed to be the truth about his feelings regarding the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Let’s go back to those tweets just in case you’d forgotten the specifics:
His answer raises a million more questions. Is he telling the truth? Even if he is being honest and doesn’t have a burner and somehow felt “on the outside looking in” in regards to a question posed directly to him, does his use of the third person as a way to distance himself in his own mind from the very public criticisms of the Thunder make it any less Nick Young face-worthy? And who does any of this, anyway?
Maybe this scene from the profile, still from the day after The Tweets, in which Durant visits a youth center where his charity had built a basketball court, gives a good glimpse into the psyche of a person who’d do these things:
At the court dedication, held at the Menlo Park Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, he arrived in a Pink Floyd T-shirt, his face in visible pain. Every 30 seconds or so, he checked Twitter. Condoleezza Rice, who is on the advisory council of the BGCP, appeared in a red blouse; zombie-like, Durant posed for a photo with her, and then wandered away. As part of the ceremony, he was interviewed on a makeshift stage by two high school students. One of them asked a seemingly innocuous question about who had helped Durant believe in himself and be self-confident. “I still struggle to feel confident in myself,” he responded. “I still struggle with seeking approval from others sometimes, not realizing that I’m winning in life. Sometimes I tend to go backwards. But that’s just part of life. Don’t feel down about it. Don’t feel upset. Don’t feel embarrassed, even though you are embarrassed at times.... I’m having a bad day today. But you guys are giving me life.”
After the interview ended, he wandered back over to Kleiman: “Anything new on Twitter?” he asked.
Durant turns 30 next September.