Golden State Warriors All-Star Kevin Durant acknowledged a controversial Twitter incident and apologized for comments that were critical of his former team and coach, calling the tweets "idiotic" and "childish."
"I use Twitter to engage with the fans," Durant said Tuesday from the stage of the TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco. "I think it's a great way to engage with basketball fans. But I happened to take it a little too far. That's what happens sometimes when I get into these basketball debates about what I really love: to play basketball.
"I don't regret clapping back at anybody or talking to my fans on Twitter. I do regret using my former coach's name and the former organization I played for. That was childish. That was idiotic -- all those type of words. I regret doing that, and I apologize to them for doing that."
The tweets on Sunday were in response to a fan who questioned Durant's reasoning behind leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder to join the Warriors in July 2016. Durant, speaking in third person, responded by saying he didn't like the organization or playing for Billy Donovan and that the roster "wasn't that good."
Durant told USA Today Sports on Tuesday, "To know that I affected Billy Donovan and the Thunder -- like I love those people and I don't never [want to hurt them]."
He told the newspaper that he sent a note of apology to Donovan, but Durant knows that he deserves whatever criticism is coming his way.
"That was just me being a total [expletive] idiot. I own up to it," Durant told USA Today. "I want to move on from it. It probably hit me probably harder than what everybody [thought]. Everybody else was telling me to relax, to snap out of it, but I was really, really upset with myself more than anything. It's not the fact that people were talking about me, because I deserve that, but I'm just more upset with myself that I let myself go that far, you know what I was saying?
"It was a joke to me at first. I was doing it all summer, and it went too deep. ... I haven't slept in two days, two nights. I haven't ate. It's crazy, because I feel so [expletive] pissed at myself and I'm mad that I brought someone into it."
Thunder center Enes Kanter, in an apparent response to the Durant tweets, took to Twitter later Tuesday to express his love for Oklahoma City.
Okla-Home 💙 pic.twitter.com/54JqtM4c5S— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) September 19, 2017
The Thunder won 55 games during Durant's final season with the team and held a 3-1 series lead over the 73-win Warriors in the Western Conference finals before losing in seven games.
During his time in Oklahoma City, Durant actively communicated with the front office, pushing for acquisitions and upgrades at positions he thought needed improvement.
Since the Warriors' emphatic 4-1 NBA Finals rout of the Cleveland Cavaliers in June that saw Durant take home the Finals MVP trophy, he has been active on Twitter throughout the summer, engaging and debating with fans. In Sunday's incident, Durant tweeted from his official account -- @KDTrey5 -- but the tweet in third person created speculation that he meant to use an anonymous account to defend his decision. USA Today asked if that was the case.
"No, [there's] no different account," he said. "I was just on there talking. It kind of looked that way -- it did kind of look that way."
It was later unearthed that Durant has responded to fans on Instagram with a separate account from his official one, but he acknowledged Tuesday he uses a second account for friends and family.
Even with the embarrassment of the incident, Durant said he will continue to use Twitter to talk and debate with basketball fans.
"I don't think I'll stop engaging with fans," he said. "I really enjoy it, and it's a good way to connect us all, but I'll scale back a little bit right now and just focus on playing basketball. I want to move on from that; it was tough to deal with yesterday. I was really upset with myself. Definitely want to move on and keep playing basketball."