Kevin Durant by every account is the kind of NBA superstar a league could build its foundation upon.
Unfailingly polite. Religious. A team player. And he even has an air of mystery as we try to figure out what he carries in his ever-present backpack.
Durant is the future of the NBA after leading the league in scoring last season and taking the upstart Oklahoma City Thunder to the Western Conference Finals. With a young core on his roster, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to believe the Thunder and Durant could be among the NBA elite for a number of years.
Despite Durant’s talents, he has one character flaw that many Oklahoma fans will never forgive him for. Namely, he attended the University of Texas for one year and has the audacity to flash the “hook’em” sign and brag of his old school’s football exploits.
It started when he arrived with the rest of the Seattle SuperSonics when they arrived in 2008.
Oklahoman beat writer Darnell Mayberry reported that Durant on his first day.
At that year’s Thunder media day, Durant said he “loves being in Oklahoma thus far and I’m going to love playing for (the people here).”
Durant then was asked if he could ever root for the Sooners.
“Never,” Durant vowed.
He’s lived up to his words during his time in the area. He’s attended OU football games, adding the phrase “Hook ‘em Horns” to each autograph he’s signed while at Owen Field.
Durant has sat courtside at OU basketball games and flashed the two-finger Hook ‘em Horns sign. He’s even taken his needling the Sooners and Bob Stoops on Twitter. On Saturday, Durant posted a simple but damning message that raised the hackles of Sooner Nation with :
It’s even caught the attention of the Sooners, who fell behind LSU in both major polls after last week’s games.
OU sophomore defensive back Tony Jefferson had aon this tweet:
“Kevin Durant. Please stop talking trash about the sooners.. You play in Oklahoma. Regardless if you went to Texas. We support u 🙁 “
Mayberry provides a lengthy and impassioned defense on why Durant should be able to support his old school.
But the limits of freedom of speech apparently don’t stretch very far.
Particularly in Oklahoma among OU fans.