Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Five times NBA players fell apart on social media

Posted on 22 September 2017 by Adam Samuel

An accidental exposure, a third person rant and a bunch of ‘hacked’ twitter accounts have plagued the NBA’s players in recent years.

Most recently, superstar Kevin Durant has been making waves on social media , following a twitter snafu that has seen him almost unanimously ridiculed amongst his peers and fans alike.

The Golden State Warrior, fresh off winning his first NBA title with his new team following a controversial and ethically questionable move in 2016, attempted to reply to a fans jibes via the popular social media site.
However, the manner in which he went about his rebuttal was both laughable and embarrassing in equal measure.

Considering how commonplace these mistakes seem to be amongst the NBA fraternity, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite social media gaffes amongst its hallowed members:

Kevin Durant

We’ll start with the man who got the ball rolling. It all started with an innocent tweet from a disgruntled fan, who direct tweeted to Durant saying ‘‘man I respect the hell outta you but give me one legitimate reason for leaving okc other than getting a championship’’.

Whilst most players would have ignored such a request, KD, who is known to have a notoriously thin skin, attempted a reply. Whilst all may seem normal up to this point, what he’d clearly forgotten to do was log into the third party account which he clearly uses for any such occurrence. Instead, tweeting directly from his main account, Durant retorted: ‘‘He didn’t like the organization or playing for Billy Donovan. His roster wasn’t that good. It was just him and Russ (Westbrook)’’.

By the time the error had been noted, the damage has been done. Naturally, as is the case in such scenarios, the meme-kings of social media were quick to act, and as of the time of publishing the star who should be on a high from collecting his first win is instead the butt of jokes around the world.
That he came out and admitted his gaffe, rather than rolling out the tried and tested ‘‘I was hacked’’ narrative, has thus far failed to slow down the trolls, or the high-powered television show hosts (we’re looking at you Skip Bayless).

Draymond Green

Oh these Warriors! It really seems that they just can’t help themselves! In the summer prior to Durant’s arrival, it was Draymond Green who lead the way for infamous social media moments.
The summer had already been tough, after in the Warriors inexplicably blew a 3-1 lead to gift the Cleveland Cavaliers the first NBA title in their history.
However, Green, then twenty-six, had garnered an unwanted reputation for hitting his opponents in their crotch area. And in a twist of ironic fate, he made a balls up of his own grieving process. By. Well. Exposing said balls. On Snapchat. To the surprise of no one, the hard man intimated that his account had been compromised by unscrupulous forces, although the machinations behind this claim are hard to understand.
The faux pas clearly had little effect on Durant however, as he was promptly persuaded to jump ship to the team that had beaten him in the playoffs, and featured prominently as an overpowered Warriors team easily secured the NBA title in 2017.

D’angelo Russell

Then Laker’s rookie D’angelo Russell faced a wave of criticism following his own slip up, and there is little question that this situation may have been a factor in his recent trade to the ailing Brooklyn Nets.
The then twenty-year-old, whilst hanging out with teammate and mentor (?) Nick Young, decided it would be wise to post a secretly recorded video of his teammate admitting to having cheated on his high profile then fiancée Iggy Azalea.

Whilst Young got away relatively scot-free (despite splitting from Azalea in the weeks following), Russell bore the brunt of former and current players around the league. He was further lambasted by commentators and journalists for his lack of maturity, and found himself alienated from his teammates, who referred to him as a snitch who ruined a relationship.

There’s a trial by fire, then there’s whatever this was.

Larry Sanders

Larry Sanders enjoyed a turbulent, if short, spell in the league. The 6’’11 shot blocker, a high pick by the Milwaukee Bucks, walked away from the league of his own accord, despite being offered a multi-million-dollar contract extension by the club.

However, whilst this was a no doubt interesting footnote, Sanders’ most unfortunate moment occurred after he attempted to show off his new piece of body art on Instagram. However, far from highlighting whatever it was he was trying to highlight, the tattoo in question spelt ‘Recieve’.

When the hilarious spelling error, now a permanent fixture on his skin, was pointed out by a commenter, Sanders shrugged off the gaffe, stating: ‘‘same meaning, different spelling’’. Yeah, we don’t think so mate.

Kurt Rambis

Surprisingly, it’s not only players who have been caught out on social media – in this case, it was a coach who found himself in the eye of a twitter sized hurricane.

Knicks head coach Kurt Rambis, well respected around the league after a fruitful playing career and stints on the benches of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves, added to the woes of his dysfunctional squad after it was discovered that he had publicly ‘liked’ an extremely NSFW photograph depicting female masturbation.

The organisation rallied around their coach, insisting that, you guessed it – he’d been hacked! However, in a twist that served to further add to the hilarity, twenty-four hours later Coach Rambis was still publicly following an account subtly named ‘@greatassdaily’.

Either he really doesn’t get social media, or his team moves as slowly as Joakim Noah getting off the injury table.