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OKC newspaper blasts Kevin Durant with huge ‘Mr. Unreliable’ headline

May 1, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

Good morning, Thunder fans.


This is what the cover of a Thunder Extra looks like in today’s sports section of The Oklahoman.


Now, players will tell you that they pay very little if any attention to what is written in the media this time of year, but in a smaller market like Oklahoma City, you can bet that Durant will see this.

That’s not great, especially given the league’s trends of star players leaving in free agency for bigger cities as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

This is especially ridiculous considering that Durant is going to win the MVP this year for what has been an incredible season, and in the playoffs, matchups determine a team’s fate much more than do individual players. The Memphis defense has stifled Durant in a series where the Thunder trail 3-2, and it will unquestionably be a disappointment if Oklahoma City is bounced in the first round.

(And if that happens, it should probably cause Scott Brooks to lose his job for not figuring out how to better utilize one of the game’s top players.)

Durant, however, is doing everything he can — he’s averaging 28 points in an insane 47.6 minutes per game, and is still managing to shoot 40 percent from the field. That’s low for him, and inefficient by his standards. But this isn’t exactly Roy Hibbert we’re talking about, here.

It just seems misguided to go so big in ripping Durant mid-series, when he’s currently one of the game’s two best players, and things still have yet to be decided. Players remember moments like these, and it’s not at all far-fetched to believe that this could be one of many that influence Durant’s free agent decision a couple of years from now.

UPDATE 1:02 pm: The editor at The Oklahoman has come out and admitted the headline was a mistake.



  1. adoombray - May 1, 2014 at 11:33 AM

    Headline got the newspaper posted to here. Guess it wasn’t such a bad idea.

    In 2014, the press doesn’t have to get anywhere near the truth as long as the link / image gets shared. Don’t pretend like PBT isn’t part of the same game lol

  2. miamiheatles - May 1, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    Be careful OKC, you’re already a small market. He can leave, you know.

    • phillyguyindc - May 1, 2014 at 11:37 AM

      And you know once these two leave the only way they are getting another great player is through the draft

    • smoothaswilkes - May 1, 2014 at 2:22 PM


      You and the author seem to think that this will help drive Durant away? You think he’s that thin skinned?

      How do you come to the conclusion that a newspaper headline in small market drives him away? To where? A larger market where there are more papers, media coverage, and people to rip his performance? Give me a break. And even though that headline has made national news, it only gets worse in a larger market like LA or NY where there are many more voices covering those teams.

      If he leaves it’s because of a million other reasons BEFORE a single headline. If anything he’s going to use it for motivation to work harder and not as motivation to leave OKC.

    • packergator - May 1, 2014 at 6:25 PM

      He got them to the Finals just two years ago; how many teams would kill for that accomplishment? Give him more time, OKC – that WC title wasn’t a fluke.

  3. kb2408 - May 1, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    Thank you, idiot newspaper guy!! That could be the kiss of death. Kobe retires in two seasons and the LAKERS make Kevin Durant his heir apparent and face of the franchise.

    • reesesteel23 - May 1, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      I like your way of thinking. The more ridiculous player movement predictions you make, you’re bound to be right eventually.

      • kb2408 - May 1, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        The “only” player I have predicted will be a LAKER is Kevin Love.

      • kb2408 - May 1, 2014 at 12:27 PM

        And btw, the only reason you believe it’s ridiculous is because you don’t want to see it happen. The LAKERS have as good of a chance as any team to land him of he leaves OKC.

      • aboogy123456 - May 1, 2014 at 12:38 PM

        KB2408, I think the lakers are arguably the hottest destination for any free agent, but I don’t think Durant would go there. I think he would feel like a sellout and he cares too much about his self image to do that. I see him going to DC because he would look like he just wants to play for his home team, but he gets the benefit of joining a better team and market. He’s starting to plant the seeds too, he was public about recruiting Desean Jackson and he bought over 100 tickets for friends when OKC played the Wizards.

      • kb2408 - May 1, 2014 at 1:27 PM

        @aboog…I hear everything you’re saying and the Wiz makes sense IF you think going home is important to KD. However, how can they afford KD, Beal, Wall AND Nene? It’s impossible.

      • aboogy123456 - May 1, 2014 at 2:01 PM

        Nene’s contract expires the same year that they would sign Durant, so I think they could afford to sign both Beal and Durant. The wizards need to be smart this summer and not ruin their cap space. Ariza and Gortat are both free agents and playing well, and if they give them long term contracts then there’s no more space.

    • aboogy123456 - May 1, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      I think he’ll go play for DC, and this treatment will just make it easier.

      • fanofthegame79 - May 1, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        Your posts above are spot-on about Durant to DC if they don’t screw up their salary cap situation before he’s eligible to sign there.

    • apkyletexas - May 1, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      If the game had lasted a couple tenths of a second longer, the Thunder would have won on the Ibaka put-back, and the paper would have been praising the team.

      • spursareold - May 1, 2014 at 12:12 PM

        If VC doesn’t hit a turning, drifting corner three with a realistic percentage of maybe 30-35, the SA Dallas series would be over now.

        If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

      • packergator - May 1, 2014 at 6:26 PM

        Shoulda, coulda, woulda – DIDN’T.

  4. emdawt - May 1, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    Blame Scott Brooks. Played for the regular season instead of the postseason.

    • spursareold - May 1, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      His infatuation with Perkins is ridiculous. They need a real big man to pair with Ibaka. Not having that, Durant is forced to play Gasol. Banging defensively that much in the post destroys his legs for shooting late in the game.

  5. mrlaloosh - May 1, 2014 at 11:43 AM

    He’s good as gone.

  6. jzone954 - May 1, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Wow , that isn’t right. KD doesn’t deserve that. The Thunder don’t deserve that.

  7. obmig - May 1, 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Coming home to DC when his contract is up

  8. cantonb0und13 - May 1, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    What a great headline! Kevin Durant fails to deliver when you need him the most. Someone said Durant can be the heir apparent to Kobe? LMAO! Durant will be like Dwight Howard and fail to deliver under the bright lights of L.A.

    • au1978 - May 1, 2014 at 1:54 PM

      I think this season aptly showed that the “bright lights” of LA are really no brighter than any other city’s.

  9. balfe13 - May 1, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    This wouldn’t have happened in Seattle.

  10. RonKarate - May 1, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    The Zombie Sonics will get what they deserve. I hope Westbrook leaves and Durant continues to choke. Clay Bennett is a dirtbag.

    • seattlesuperchronic - May 1, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      I’ve never heard them called the Zombie Sonics before, that’s pretty funny.

  11. k3nn3k - May 1, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    I thought maybe the Oklahoman was a smaller newspaper out there, and after looking it up, they are one of the biggest. Not a good look for you Oklahoma

    • mackcarrington - May 1, 2014 at 4:33 PM

      “Big” in Oklahoma is relative.

  12. txmade06 - May 1, 2014 at 12:01 PM

    Come to H Town Durant! Donatello can hold it down in okc..

  13. thenew013 - May 1, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    I am sure if the team truly felt this way he would be traded for a kings fortune…and he would be worth every penny.

  14. kidsamoa260 - May 1, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    They would never get disrespected as a Seattle supersonic! C’mon back.

  15. chargerdillon - May 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    2016 OKC Newpaper Headline: “Reasons KD left OKC”

  16. wwttww - May 1, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    He’s gonna be a Hawk very soon!

  17. jsala02 - May 1, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    It doesn’t often happen, but I think Jalen Rose will be right on this one. He will leave and join Harden/Howard in Houston and that team will dominate.

    • spursareold - May 1, 2014 at 12:14 PM

      A new movie script: The Three Beta Amigos.

  18. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 1, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    KD wants to be MVP? Indy wants the 1 seed? Lakers sign Howard & Nash?

    It’s not so easy is it?

  19. zoomy123 - May 1, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    With his team down 2 games to 1 in a pivotal game 4 on the road, Kevin Durant shot 5 for 21 for 15 points. HE SHOT 5 FOR 21 FOR 15 POINTS! That’s choking anyway you look at it folks. If Lebron James did that he’d be persecuted as Satan. Goodness gracious, how many excuses will KD get? I can’t even count them all:

    1. KD has to guard Marc Gasol all game so his legs are tired.
    2. It’s Scott Brooks’s fault; he doesn’t know how to properly use KD.
    3. KD isn’t getting help from a 3rd scoring option.
    4. Russell Westbrook sucks.
    5. Memphis has a great defense. (As if great players aren’t expected to play great against great teams.)

    Enough is enough, lol. KD is choking…end of story.

    • fanofthegame79 - May 1, 2014 at 2:54 PM

      Amen, zoomy!! One could only imagine how ESPN would be blowing up if this were LeBron – I think Skip Bayless’ head would split from smiling so big, if he could smile through all of the I-told-you-so’s.

  20. cantonbound13 - May 1, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    He’s going to look great in Blue & Orange. The Zen Master will make it happen!

  21. au1978 - May 1, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    This is the crap that makes me sick about some fans. Durant is having a less-than-Durant series, to be sure. But Memphis is playing some great defense and well executed basketball. Give them some credit. And besides, OKC would be NOWHERE without Durant. NOWHERE. Reminds me of how the Cavs fans would boo LBJ when he had bad games and then cried themselves to sleep every night after he left. You never miss a good thing…

  22. praetorian12 - May 1, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    This would have never happened in Seattle. The League MVP as Mr. Unreliable? Pffffft….

    • xmen1906 - May 1, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      This was funnier the first 3 times.

      I kid because I love

  23. joeksnuffy - May 1, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    I view Durant’s struggles as a coaching issue (in addition to Memphis’s good defense). Durant is obviously the focus of Memphis. When you are double teamed all the time, it’s pretty hard to get into your rhythm. There are a lot of isolation-type plays called for Durant, where he gets the ball up top and everyone else gets out of the way. Others need to get involved so that Memphis cannot just focus on Durant. But, Brooks is not spreading the ball around. Durant is not getting looks in the flow of a balanced attack.

    • antistratfordian - May 1, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      KD has to be able to handle a basic double team. He has to find a way to make the defense pay for loading up on him.

  24. antistratfordian - May 1, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    A little extreme for the first round. But, then again, an MVP losing in the first round is absolutely unacceptable – so perhaps he deserves it.

    But it looks like Durant’s honeymoon is over. The criticism is only going to get louder until he wins a championship.

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