Ever since Kevin Durant abandoned Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, he’s worn the black hat and played the heel role as well as anyone we’ve seen in recent memory. Sometimes he gets in his feelings and can go a little far with it, but now Durant has gone to a whole other level of jerkness on Twitter, crushing an eighth grader for merely performing a slick move on the hoop court.
Jayden Moore, age 13, of Minnetonka, Minn., pulled off a crazy dribble spin move that had the internet buzzing. Moore dribbled, turned, and put the ball behind his back but without dribbling — as he actually carried the ball behind his back instead of placing it on the floor — then continued his dribble again, losing his defender before jacking up along three, of course. The move is kind of wild. But definitely not legal.
Honestly, the person who should have been called out here is the referee standing 12 feet away, who was looking directly at Moore as he went through the steps of this maneuver. I’m almost certain there was at least one other ref on the floor, but neither blew a whistle to wave this off because it is a travel, double dribble, and possibly some other type of violation as well. In the clip, someone can even be heard saying, “it’s a travel.” They aren’t wrong.
Durant took it too far, though, in his criticism of Moore, who was in sixth grade when he performed the move featured in this video. Believe me, I get the tough love approach, but sometimes you just need to chill out. KD could have found the kid and reached out since he is on Twitter, then given him some constructive criticism. I’m sure Jayden would have appreciated something like that and even said as much after learning of Durant’s response to his video.
“Like, what made him take time out of his day to say something negative instead of encouraging me or telling what really needs to be done and then texting me privately or something like that,” Moore said.
Moore has apparently taken Durant’s unprompted roast in stride and kept it moving. Of course, after the Twitterverse jumped to Moore’s defense, KD took exception to this and doubled down on his initial comment. KD told one Twitter user, “it’s about habits man.”
Durant certainly has a point here, but there’s a time and place for everything. The same message can be conveyed through a different delivery message. But Durant either doesn’t get that or just doesn’t care.
That saying about never meeting your heroes is proven to be accurate here. Jayden didn’t even have to meet KD, or seek him out, to feel his wrath. Hopefully, this will serve as motivation for Moore over the rest of his high school hoops career and beyond.
But Durant may have done this kid a favor without even knowing it. All this publicity Moore is receiving after Durant slammed him publicly is putting so many more eyes on his basketball skills. If he’s good enough, scouts that may not have found this kid will see all these news stories and Twitter clips on Moore, and they might want to see him play in person. So, if Moore and his parents play this right, it could be a blessing in disguise. NIL, meet Jayden Moore. As for Durant, he should purify himself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka.