Or at least one newspaper headline writer is. The Oklahoman ran a photo of Kevin Durant Thursday with the headline, “Mr. Unreliable”, a reference to Durant’s play down the stretch of a 100-99 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5 of the playoff series between the two teams.
— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) May 1, 2014
The article the headline goes with is a column by Berry Tramel. Tramel writes:
[Memphis guard Tony] Allen is inside Durant’s head. Durant is dazed and confused. Hesitant and docile. The Memphis Doberman has turned Durant into mere mortal this Western Conference playoff series. The Thunder is on the brink of elimination, and if Durant doesn’t return to something approaching the Slim Reaper in Game 6 Thursday night, Grim Sleeper is going to be more like it.
Tramel goes on to cite Durant’s 40-percent shooting from the floor in the series and his 28 of 39 performance from the line, a .718 percentage.
I think I speak for all Celtics fans when I say this to OKC: If you don’t like Durant, we’d be glad to take him off your hands.
UPDATE, 1:29 p.m.
Durant’s mother, Wanda Pratt, was none too happy with the Oklahoman’s take:
Typical Oklahoman on Kevin. UNBELIEVABLE!!
KEVIN is RELIABLE!!!
— Wanda Pratt (@MamaDurant) May 1, 2014
The fuss over the headline actually caused the paper’s sports editor, Mike Sherman, to issue a statement saying the headline missed the mark.
The words were overstated and unduly harsh. The headline and presentation left the impression that we were commenting on Durant’s season, career or even character. We were not. We were referring only to the Memphis series. The fact the headline and presentation left that impression with so many readers is proof that we failed.
When asked about the headline Thursday at practice, Durant responded with his usual class.
RT @DarnellMayberry Durant on The Oklahoman’s headline: “That’s what they’re supposed to write. I didn’t come through for the team.”
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) May 1, 2014