Kevin Durant’s social media accounts roared back to entertaining life after the Finals. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
There was a time when Kevin Durant was one of the most entertaining athletes on Twitter. Back when he was viewed as a perennial superstar, Durant was engaging, humanizing, brash and, well, a classic D.C. bamma before his account was scrubbed and transformed into a marketing platform.
All that remained were archived social memories as his basketball narrative shifted from perennial superstar to a superstar who can’t win a title in Oklahoma City and eventually a superstar bound for free agency as he left the Thunder for the Golden State Warriors. Old tweets would resurface on Twitter when Durant was relevant, or whenever the timeline randomly needed a reminder of how great Durant’s Twitter game used to be (at the expense of confusing Durant). It’s unclear why he changed his social media presence, but Durant’s tweets developed a cult following. Although he stopped expressing himself and continued posting #sponsored tweets, his following grew larger as he became one of the best players in the game.
Thankfully, the Durant we’ve missed made his return over the weekend. Fresh off his first NBA championship and NBA Finals MVP award, the Montrose Christian School product was engaging and interacting in a way we never expected to see again.
It initially started on Thursday, after the Warriors enjoyed their victory parade in Oakland, Calif. DJ Steph Floss, the official DJ of the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, tweeted that Durant would never talk to his Warriors teammates this offseason after winning the title. Durant clapped back.
Then, Durant attempted to clarify his comments made on “The Bill Simmons Podcast” about calling Kyrie Irving better than Allen Iverson. Durant tweeted he meant Irving has better handles than Iverson did in his 17-year career. It was a spicy topic made for NBA Twitter, and Durant flame-roasted anyone with a bad take.
The replies continued from Durant throughout the weekend. There were of course salty Thunder and NBA fans who wanted to belittle Durant for his decision to leave the Thunder for Golden State, who already had three all-stars — Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green — and consecutive NBA Finals appearances. There were also replies from people who thought Durant was “too big” to do this because of his heightened celebrity status as NBA champion and NBA Finals MVP. They got sonned too.
In the midst of his return, Durant reminded us that he’s still a bamma, after all, by telling followers they can’t beat him one-on-one, or using the term “stay woke,” or even referencing an old Drake lyric from five years ago that nobody but bammas still use in 2017.
It’s my favorite aspect about Durant. No matter how many Beats By Dre commercials he tweets, there’s still that side of him that wears a tilted Washington Nationals fitted hat with a white T-shirt as his BlackPlanet profile picture, or uses an AIM screen name “KevinBalla33.” This is what makes Durant so relatable in a way that we rarely get to see from athletes of his caliber. There’s a pristine perception with James, who has carried himself about as well as any superstar during the digital age in a “professional” sense (even through “the Decision”) but has humanized his life over the last few years. Durant, on the other hand, showed us that he was extra regular at the start of his career before he began cleaning up his image.
And despite a rise to prominence that has changed his circumstances from a D.C. kid trying to find his way to a privileged athlete on top of the basketball world this summer, we know he’s still one of us.