The rise of social media use by star athletes can be a negative or positive thing, depending on which perspective that you are viewing it from. The positive part about social media for athletes is that it can be used as a marketing tool for them to build their brands. On the other hand, if the athlete gets roped into social media arguments with fans it could be a bad look on that same brand.
Brooklyn Nets‘ star Kevin Durant has seen the best of both worlds in the social media space. He has been involved in situations where his urge to respond has cost him financially, but has also used social media to launch his multimedia powerhouse 35 Ventures. As time has passed Durant has learned to take his social media experience with a grain of salt.
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KD Responds to His Social Media Critics
“Anybody that’s crucifying me for some s*** that I said behind closed doors, I would definitely love to see y’all phones,” Durant said to Sam Anderson of the New York Times. “I’m a very centered, balanced person, I understand why these people are doing this. If I didn’t understand, then I probably would go crazy.”
Durant was famously caught using his burner account in 2016 to defend his decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder and join the 73-9 Golden State Warriors, who had just beat them in the Western Conference Finals weeks before his decision. For KD, he does not feel the need to go back and forth with fans as much as he used to. Durant has realized that most fans put him on such a high pedestal to the point that he is not even looked upon as a human but rather a superhero. This could be why many of them take his personal decisions to heart. Durant’s new approach consists of convincing his fans that he is no different than they are.
“People are naturally emotional when they talk to somebody, they feel is on a higher pedestal than them. I’m trying to say: We equals at the end of the day. Once I bring ’em up to that, then they realize what they was doing was childish,” Durant continued.
“Jesus used to do that. He used to go to the worst places, and go find the people who hated him, absolutely hated him. Who denied him, never even thought about saying his name. He went to go holla at them and give them the truth. And once they heard the truth, they souls changed, and they couldn’t deny it. So, I try to take that approach.”
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Durant Views Winning in an Entirely New Perspective in Brooklyn
As Durant continues on the chase for his third NBA title and possibly his third NBA Finals MVP in this year’s playoff, he admits that some of the things that used to hold great value for him no longer hold the same value anymore. He is not chasing anyone but rather is focused on becoming the best version of himself.
“Once I won a championship [with Golden State], I realized that, like, my view on this game is really about development,” Durant said to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “Like, how good can I be? It’s not about, you know, let’s go get this championship. I appreciate that stuff and I want to win to experience that stuff, but it’s not the end-all, be-all of why I play the game.”
Even in his 14th NBA season, Durant is still looking to develop as both a player and a person.