Warriors

Trapped by social media monster, KD taught a harsh lesson

Trapped by social media monster, KD taught a harsh lesson

Kevin Durant has publicly pummeled himself into swollen submission, and he was the first to say he deserved every punch after falling thumbs first into the trap set by the monster we adore.

That would be social media and its maliciously seductive bait.

It’s addictive, and mesmerizing enough to have folks staring into the light of smartphones at all hours of the night or walking down the sidewalk at midday bumping into others caught up in the same maze.

Caught up in the insanity last Sunday, Durant got too honest and too cheeky. His response to a question posed on Twitter -- essentially seeking deeper reasons for his decision to leave Oklahoma City for the Warriors -- exposed some raw opinions, belittling his former Thunder teammates, as well as the organization while also directly criticizing coach Billy Donovan. Only star guard Russell Westbrook, the other half of what once was OKC’s dynamic duo, was spared.

It was KD unfiltered, inadvertently sharing with the Twitterverse the kinds of blunt assessments he most assuredly would rather keep confined to his inner circle. That much we can assume insofar as his points of view were issued in the third person.

After realizing firestorm ignited by his “oops” moment, Durant deleted both responses, though far too late to avoid embarrassment.

So there he was Tuesday on stage during TechCrunch Disrupt SF summit, smacking himself with both fists, kicking himself with both feet and offering up a stream of apologies that seemed as sincere as any we’ve heard from someone caught in a compromising position.

“I use Twitter to engage with fans,” Durant said. “I happened to take it a little too far.

“That’s what happens sometime when I get into these basketball debates about what I really love, to play basketball. I don’t regret clapping back at anybody or talking to my fans on Twitter. I do regret using my former coach’s name and the former organization I played for.

“That was childish. That was idiotic, all those types of words. I regret doing that and I apologize for that.”

Durant, who according to USA Today sent a personal apology to Donovan, didn’t stop the self-flagellation there.

“I look like an idiot,” he told the newspaper. “My peers are going to look at me like an idiot. All the jokes -- bring ‘em. I deserve it.

“The second I realized what I did, I felt like (bleep). Like I said, I look at that stuff as a joke and a big game. Sometimes when I’m in it, I take it too far and I’m in it too much, too deep. But it’s just out of sight, out of mind. I won’t fall into that problem again. I definitely have to move on and not worry about anybody on Twitter, even though it’s fun. You know what I mean?”

The many available forms of social media can be fun indeed. They can, if properly utilized, be informative. They also represent a form of conversation rife with pitfalls.

Rarely a week goes by without a high profile individual -- athletes, entertainers, politicians et al -- going full jackass on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or some other device. Photos of private parts meant for an individual have been inadvertently shared and, therefore, gone viral.

How many poor souls that have fallen into this trap been forced to respond by saying they’ve been hacked?

A man like Durant, with almost 17 million Twitter followers, deserves kudos for taking the time to engage with his audience. But once down that path, it can be exceedingly perilous. Durant disclosed that his gaffe was upsetting enough to disrupt both his appetite and sleep pattern.

Honesty is a noble trait. Brutal honesty can be provocative. Brutal honesty attached to withering critique can result in disastrous consequences.

Durant is a smart guy who made a dumb mistake. He stepped into muck that was hip deep. This is going to stick to him for a while, as it should.

It’s a harsh lesson, but some of the most enduring lessons are learned the hard way.

Gameday: Warriors double-digit favorites vs Blazers

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USATI

Gameday: Warriors double-digit favorites vs Blazers

OAKLAND -- The Warriors make their first appearance at Oracle Arena in two weeks Monday night, when they face the reeling Portland Trail Blazers.

The Warriors (21-6) are entering a stretch during which they play nine of their next 10 games at home. They own a six-game win streak, and the last two were without two-time MVP Stephen Curry. Kevin Durant immediately raised his game to a higher level.

This is the first of a five-game road trip for the Blazers (13-12), who have lost four in a row, all at home.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 10.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Shaun Livingston/Quinn Cook/Klay Thompson vs. Damian Lillard/CJ McCollum: Lillard and McCollum are the highest-scoring backcourt in the NBA. Both have deep range, with McCollum shooting 44.3 percent beyond the arc at Lillard at 35 percent. Lillard is a very proud Oakland native who always seeks to put on a show for his homecomings. Though the absence of Stephen Curry takes some of the shine off the backcourt battle, the Warriors have a full understanding that offsetting Lillard and McCollum is the key to beating Portland.

INJURY REPORT

WARRIORS: G Pat McCaw (concussion, nose contusion) is listed as questionable, pending protocol clearance. G Stephen Curry (R ankle sprain) and C Zaza Pachulia (L shoulder soreness) are listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

BLAZERS: F Maurice Harkless (L quad soreness) and C Jusuf Nurkic (R ankle sprain) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 8-2. Trail Blazers: 5-5

GAME OFFICIALS

James Capers (crew chief), Kevin Cutler, Rodney Mott.

SERIES HISTORY

This is the first meeting between the teams this season. The Warriors swept the four-game series last season, winning by average margin of 19.5 points. They have won the last six games, the last six in Oakland 15 of 18 overall.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE KD SHOW: Durant was good before Curry went down. He has since been outstanding, making an impact at both ends. He’s a matchup nightmare for most opponents, and the Blazers are no different. Expect them to turn to their best frontcourt defender, Al-Farouq Aminu, to try and slow Durant. If KD plays as inspired as he has over the past two games, it probably won’t matter.

THE PACE: The Warriors will want to speed the game up at every opportunity, something with which the Blazers are not entirely comfortable. Portland is dead last in fast-break points per game (4.5) and 27th in points off turnovers (14.6 per game). The Blazers are largely dependent on jump shots out of half-court sets. The Warriors have had success lulling them into a run-and-gun battle.

THE BIGS: Having both starting centers out sets up a curious battle between JaVale McGee of the Warriors and Meyers Leonard of the Blazers, similarly athletic but unorthodox 7-footers who offset evident weaknesses with high field goal percentages (54.7 for McGee, 62.5 for Leonard) and high efficiency ratings (19.39 for McGee, 22.35 for Leonard). Should be fun to watch.

Kerr: Draymond 'was an absolute monster; exactly where he needs to be'

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USATI

Kerr: Draymond 'was an absolute monster; exactly where he needs to be'

Draymond Green only scored two points against the Pistons last Friday night.

He went 0-for-5 from 3-point territory.

But the reigning Defensive Player of Year dished out 13 assists to go along with 6 rebounds, 6 blocks (tied a career high) and 3 steals.

"He was brilliant," Steve Kerr told reporters after practice on Sunday. "Offensively, he was very good -- 13 assists ... but defensively he was an absolute monster.

"He was phenomenal."

Additionally:

Draymond's statistics the first seven games of the season: 7.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 4.0 turnovers, 1.0 blocks, 0.9 steals, 36.4 percent shooting, 21.7 percent from deep.

Draymond's statistics the last 18 games: 11.2 points, 6.9 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 2.2 turnovers, 1.8 steals, 1.6 blocks, 47.7 percent shooting, 36.8 percent from deep.

"We played the Clippers. From that point on I think he's been much more under control and locked in," Kerr said of Draymond. "I thought the first seven games he was a little scattered emotionally. I thought he was too emotional ... this last road trip, that's when he really put it all together with the intensity defensively and the composure.

"To me, right now, he's exactly where he needs to be."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller