During an interview on Tuesday, Kevin Durant used a combined eight words to effectively set the NBA digital world aflame. Talk about efficiency.
Replying to a question regarding Sports Illustrated’s top-10 list of NBA players, he said “I think you’re missing James Harden” and he should replace “Dwyane Wade”.
The reaction was quick and explosive: Wade responded via Instagram, clearly taking it as a slight and vowing to prove him wrong. Durant followed with a brief and effective rebuttal (“show me don’t tweet me”) and then opinions flowed in from everywhere.
The most interesting of which came from a growing camp that believed the interaction was contrived and the whole thing was a marketing ploy.
On Thursday, during a fashion event in Miami, Wade shot that down, maintaining that his reaction was authentic.
“He had an opinion, I had a response and there you have it,” Wade told South Florida reporters.
Durant, speaking Friday at the Thunder’s annual Media Day, didn’t backtrack on his original statement. But he did seem intent on making it clear that his advocacy for Harden shouldn’t be viewed as an insult to Wade.
“Dwyane Wade is a great, great player, man,” Durant said. “I’m not discrediting anything he’s done or nothing like that. I just voiced my opinion. He’s a great, great player. Finals MVP and champion. I didn’t mean to disrespect that or take that away from him or anything. I just voiced my opinion as of today. I love you D-Wade. It’s just competition.”