As you might have seen earlier today, Kevin Durant finally announced that the next stage of his career will be with the Golden State Warriors. In the wake of the news that Durant is set to leave Oklahoma City and further improve an already intimidating Warriors roster, the rest of the league quickly got to work finalizing their own free agent signings and trades.
In the meantime, Thunder fans made sure to take the bad news in stride with a rational and level-headed afternoon of discourse both online and off.
Just kidding. They had a complete and all-encompassing meltdown.
As with many fanbases that lose a marquee player in his prime when they go elsewhere in order to have a better shot at a championship, Oklahoma City fans threw “rational behavior” right out the window basically the minute the Durant news broke. Cue the jersey burning, angry tweets, and cries of “traitor!” (er, “trader”) from all corners.
Here are just a few examples of fans burning jerseys that they paid good money for simply to prove a point when they could easily donate them to charity or try to sell them and recoup at least a bit of the original cost. But as noted above, rational thought is currently scarce in Oklahoma City.
I wish Durant would have stuck around like the plastic this jersey was made out of pic.twitter.com/jhl7iLuy4e
— Jacob DeLaughter (@jakedelaughter) July 4, 2016
Going a step further than just burning a jersey, one father posted a video of his young son hearing the news that Kevin Durant is no longer on the Thunder and bursting into tears.
First of all, that is a harsh way for any child to learn about the pain of being a sports fan. Second, Durant did not ruin your son’s day, good sir – you did that. By not only breaking bad news to him while he looked otherwise happy on a sunny Fourth of July, but also by videotaping it and posting it online.
— Terry Rimmer (@T_Rimm) July 4, 2016
At least most fans who went from peaceful-to-meltdown in a split second did so on their own property. Unfortunately, not everyone is being so courteous when it comes to their anger at Durant’s choice. One man, identified as a local bar owner in OKC, actually went to Durant’s home and filmed a message to the departing star calling out his lack of “balls” and lack of “heart.” Not only is that an incredibly creepy thing to do, but it’s also probably illegal and a definite example of having zero chill. Don’t go to athletes’ homes to voice your displeasure. Just no.
People in OKC are NOT happy with KD. Here's Big Rich, who runs the Pink Parrot, one of the best bars out there. pic.twitter.com/62xIVxmf99
— Landry Locker (@LandryLocker) July 4, 2016
It isn’t a city-wide nervous breakdown without action around the arena though, so to fill that quota check out this video of a (former) Durant fan being dressed down by another resident for changing the name on his jersey to “Traitor.” It’s like watching personified versions of the crazy and reasonable sides of an internet comments section go at each other in real time.
Oklahoma City will get through the pain and shock of not having Kevin Durant around, whether that takes a few years of rebuilding or not. But right now, it seems best to let everybody mourn in their own way. And maybe make sure some fans aren’t around lighter fluid or sharp objects (just in case).