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.

Report: Warriors agree to terms on deal with NCAA's second leading scorer

Report: Warriors agree to terms on deal with NCAA's second leading scorer

The Warriors selected Jacob Evans with the No. 28 overall pick in the NBA Draft.

But that wasn't the only thing they accomplished.

Golden State agreed to terms on a partially guaranteed deal with Kendrick Nunn, according to ESPN's Ian Bagley.

Nunn averaged 25.9 points per game last year at Oakland University in Michigan.

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast: What does the Jacob Evans selection mean for Pat McCaw?]

On Thursday night he tweeted:

The partial guarantee essentially means that he will report to training camp in late September, and will end up being an affiliate player for the Santa Cruz Warriors (this is not the same as a two-way contract).

There is no official word yet if Nunn will play for the Warriors' summer league team in Sacramento and/or Las Vegas.

Nunn was a Top 100 recruit in the high school class of 2013.

He played his first three years of college ball at Illinois -- averaging 15.5 points per game as a junior.

Nunn was dismissed from the team following the 2015-16 season and ended up at Oakland.

He sat out the 2016-17 campaign before completing his career as the Horizon League Player of the Year.

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

Why the Warriors were thrilled to get 'modern NBA wing' Jacob Evans

Why the Warriors were thrilled to get 'modern NBA wing' Jacob Evans

OAKLAND -- Insofar as they don’t expect to have Nick Young next season and can’t assume they’ll have Patrick McCaw, it's not surprising the Warriors selected Cincinnati’s Jacob Evans III in the first round of the NBA Draft Thursday night.

It is, under the circumstances and given his tools, the logical call.

Evans is a 6-foot-6, 210-pound wing on a team that found itself thin on wings last season. Young and McCaw accounted for half the inventory, and Young was on a one-year contract and McCaw will be a restricted free agent.

Mainstays Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala are the only other wings on the roster.

Most of the players the Warriors brought in for pre-draft workouts were shooting guards or small forwards. Evans, taken with the 28th overall pick, falls into that category. He made two visits, the first on June 12, the day of the championship parade, and the most recent on Wednesday.

“He’s kind of the modern NBA wing: versatile, tough and a high-character kid,” general manager Bob Myers said after the draft. “We’re thrilled. We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to get him. We had him rated higher than he went to us, and he fits a lot of things we do. So we’re happy.”

Evans, who turned 21 on Monday, led the Bearcats in scoring (13.0 points per game) and assists (3.1) as a junior last season and shot 39.4 percent (129-of-327) from deep over his final two seasons.

But his ability to play immediately while guarding multiple positions was particularly appealing. Evans has been defending three perimeter positions since playing high school ball at St. Michael the Archangel in Baton Rouge, La.

“He’s a guy who is defensive-minded,” Myers said. “You don’t see a ton of college kids locked in on that side of the ball. He has kind a knack for it, on-the-ball defender or off-the-ball defender. And he had a nose for rebounding.

“So you could picture him playing in an NBA game. And that’s the feeling in our draft room, is that you can play this guy. I don’t think Steve’s going to have any problem putting him out there.”

Born in North Carolina but spending most of his youth in Louisiana, Evans was projected to go as high as the low 20s but no lower than the mid-30s.

Evans worked his way, lifting and sweating all the while, into the NBA. In his first two years at Cincinnati, he transformed his physique from unexceptional to distinctly chiseled, measuring at 6.5 percent body fat at the NBA combine.

“Not all players reach their potential. Jacob is reaching his because he was wiling to work hard,” Cincinnati associate head coach Larry Davis told The (Baton Rouge) Advocate. “He spent extra time in the weight room and on conditioning to transform his body. When some guys were out doing other things, Jacob was in the gym shooting and doing drills.’

Evans was the clear leader on a Bearcats team that went 31-5, the season ending with a 75-73 loss to Nevada in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. In addition to scoring and assists, he started every game and led the team in minutes.

“He was one of the smartest players I have ever coached,” Bearcats coach Mick Cronin said in a release. “We take great pride in developing our players and Jacob is a great example what can happen for a young man with talent and a great attitude. We are so proud and extremely excited for him to join the world champions.”