“It’s not a big deal,” said coach Steve Kerr. “It’s not anything that we’re concerned about. He apologized. I told him a story about something that happened to me in my career that was very embarrassing. The fact is, we live in a fishbowl and we are all expected to be in this profession to be outspoken, and all of sudden, you can get yourself in trouble unless you just want to completely clam up. It’s never been more difficult to be a professional athlete in the spotlight than today with social media. It’s tricky. It’s a tricky position to be in. He knows he made a mistake. … It’s not anything that concerns us.”
Durant dove into hot water when he responded to a Twitter follower asking him for the truth as to why he departed Oklahoma City. The 2017 NBA Finals MVP responded from his verified account, tweeting, “He didn’t like the organization or playing for Billy Donovan. His roster wasn’t that good. It was just him and Russ.”
And in a follow-up tweet: “Imagine taking Russ off that team, see how bad they were. KD can’t win with those cats.”
GM Sam Presti took the high road when asked about former Thunder forward Kevin Durant. “We have tremendous appreciation and respect for what he and his teammates and coaches and everybody over his tenure here accomplished,” Presti said.
Durant has since apologized. At a tech conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, he said, “I use Twitter to engage with fans. I think it’s a great way to engage with basketball fans. I happened to take it a little too far.”
On Friday, he chose not to comment further.
“I’ve moved past that,” he said. “That’s over with, and I’m looking forward to starting camp tomorrow.”
Warriors general manager Bob Myers said he spoke to Durant about the incident and shared his viewpoint. But the two-time NBA Executive of the Year recipient also applauded Durant for owning the tweet.
“I thought he handled it well,” Myers said. “When you’re in the media, we all have our moments that we might regret and say something we feel like we shouldn’t have said, and at that point when it’s done, you own it. I like to apologize to people directly, which he did, and you move on and you learn. That’s what we talked about.”
Warriors forward Draymond Green, however, didn’t let Durant off the hook that easily.
The reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year mentioned how he had a social media hiccup a year ago. He inadvertently posted a picture on Snapchat of his genitals while he was playing for Team USA during the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
Green said that back then, Durant and New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins gave him a hard time about it.
“I text [Durant] the day of [his incident] and then the next day I saw him in person and laughed in his face,” Green admitted. “I got a good laugh out of it. It was pretty funny to me. And I reminded him, since you want to talk about my mishap, I reminded him of my mishap when we’re at USA Basketball the day my mishap happened. I was stressed out and I remember them laughing in my face, from him to DeMarcus, who probably was the worst. And the beat goes on. They were all laughing in my face. So it was little payback. I stood right there, over there, laughing in his face, and it felt pretty damn good too.”
But Green reiterated the team’s position: It’s not a distraction.
“You can definitely tell he was sorry about it,” Green said. “He said, ‘Dog, I was really just having fun, and then I went too far.’ And I understand that. We all have days in life where we’re just having fun. … It was fun for the time being, and now it’s not too fun. I think everyone in here, including myself, has all done that. You’re just living in the moment. … At the end of the day, we’ve moved on. It’s not a distraction to us.
“… I know Kevin is a smart guy. He’s a remorseful guy. Sometimes probably too remorseful, but at the end of the day, that’s who he is. He feels bad about it. There’s nothing he can do to change it.”