Kevin Durant said a few weeks back that he was deleting Twitter from his phone. That doesn’t mean he’s staying off social media all together, however.
And just because he pulled out of Team USA for the summer, doesn’t mean he’s removing himself from basketball barber shop talk. Durant got into a healthy debate with some folks on Twitter Wednesday, taking up for Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant along the way.
(NOTE: For the sake of young eyes that may potentially view this post, some of the original Tweets — in which a few of the guys in conversation with Durant use foul language — will be paraphrased. Enjoy.)
Basically, @waldorfsfinest starts with the argument that people have forgotten that Bryant played with Shaquille O’Neal, a discredit to Bryant, who is generally thought of as one of the top 10 players of all time. User @StaxxFifth jumps to the Kobe defense with “so u acting like that [expletive] aint almost score 100 points in a game before?”
Durant’s response is simple.
@Waldorfsfinest then directly asks KD: “You couldn’t score 81 if you were jacking up shots like Kobe?” Durant responds with a series of Tweets, basically defending the degree of difficulty of scoring 81 in a game.
Translation: This stuff isn’t easy. The NBA is hard. Give Kobe his props.
Durant may have taken the World’s Best Scorer belt from Kobe, but it’s pretty clear KD isn’t going to let you disrespect the Mamba. KD also has never been shy about his admiration for Bryant. Earlier this year, Durant said Bryant is “the greatest of all-time” alongside Michael Jordan.
For what it’s worth, I totally think Durant could score 81 in a game. But it has to be a perfect storm, as it was for Kobe that magical night against the 27-55 Toronto Raptors in 2005. That was a mediocre Lakers team Kobe hijacked for two years of scoring binges and zero playoff success. Kobe was gunning and who was going to take the shots otherwise? Slava Medvedenko? Smush Parker? Chris Mihm? Playing with a perennial playoff team with more talent than those Lakers, Durant may never get that chance to go for 81.
But as Durant stated, “this ain’t the pits league or watts.” Kobe dropped 81 on pros, and that’s a feat.