When I was a sophomore in college, a couple of buddies and I had this idea of creating a fake Facebook account for a guy named "Buttscheeque Robinson" (pronounced: Buttcheek). It was this classic moment of kindergarten brand humor meets college life. We were going to create his Facebook page and find stock photos online of some long blonde haired dude hanging out at parties, at the beach, and begin spreading the mystique of Buttscheeque. Dude, did you see Buttscheeque at that party Friday night? Guy did a two-minute keg stand!
For various reasons, we didn't end up going through with our master plan. Mainly because we had other stuff going on. There wasn't enough time to live our own lives plus operate this burner Facebook account.
The memory of Buttscheeque was one of my first thoughts when I heard the news about Kevin Durant. And I feel like I should do a quick refresher, because the whole Durant story was only a big deal for a hot second before Trump took on the NFL, moving everyone's attention away.*
So here's the deal: Durant will often respond directly to people trolling him on Twitter, Instagram, and he even gets into it in the Youtube comment section - the most dangerous place of all. Back in September, he posted a couple of head-scratching Tweets in response to a guy who said, "KDTrey5, man I respect the hell outta you but give me one legitimate reason for leaving okc other than getting a championship."
"He didn't like the organization or playing for Billy Donovan. His roster wasn't that good, it was just him and russ."
"imagine taking russ off that team, see how bad they were. Kd can't win a championship with those cats."
Then Durant quickly deleted the Tweets.
Because this was so uncharacteristic of the all-around nice guy Durant to go after the OKC organization, take on his former coach and former teammates + why was he referring to himself in the third person, a theory emerged that Durant operates alternate accounts on social media to get into arguments with fans and say the things that he wishes he could. So, in this case, he didn't mean to post those Tweets as himself, he intended to use the Buttscheeque Robinson account.
Kevin Durant apologized for the Tweets (and I gotta give him credit for that, almost every athlete uses the "I was hacked" excuse) but denied that he was trying to use a burner account.
I still don't think his story adds up. I'm stationed in the alternate account camp. But my bigger question is why respond to the trolls at all? Whether it was directly him or someone on his social media team, why care that much about what other people think of you? You've got the NBA championship. Finals MVP. Hundreds of millions of dollars. Having the most fun of your basketball career. Why even listen to them, let alone respond?
I would think the attacks should matter less the more ridiculous the claims are. I wish I knew the preacher's name, but the best way I've ever heard this described was this one guy who said if you're wearing a pair of blue jeans and someone comes up to you and says, "Those are the stupidest pair of orange khakis I've ever seen" you'd have two choices on how you interpreted this:
1) You're suddenly color blind and also don't know the difference between jeans and khakis.
2) The troll doesn't know what they're talking about.
Number two is way more likely, so you brush it off. My jeans are blue, screw you.
I would think the same thing should happen for Durant when someone says, "You suck" or "You're not a winner." It should feel just as ridiculous as, "Your khakis are orange."
But, when there is some truth to the criticism, that's when we become more upset. Like how Donald Trump handles criticism of his hand size. If his hands were the size of Dr. J's or Kawhi Leonard's, it'd be easy for him to laugh it all off and say, "Alright, this is such a crazy attack, but if I ever need to I can just palm a basketball to prove these people wrong."
It appears that the "small hands" type of criticism for Durant, the one piece of trash talk that carries some level of truth to it, is that he took the easy way out by joining the already dominant Golden State Warriors. While this criticism may come in from actual people on the outside via social media, or TV personalities, I believe, at some level, these have materialized into Kevin Durant's own internal doubts. Worrying what people think of him. Why else would he care enough to tarnish his brand with those deleted Tweets?
The idea of taking on our internal worry trolls has always fascinated me, and it's the driving force of my new novel Toilet Bowl which will be available for pre-order on October 18th and an official release date November 1st (mark it down!) I wanted to take this idea of battling worry and fear, not having control of the future, or what other people think of you, or feeling guilty about something in the past, really you can insert any anxiety struggle here, and go on this journey to figure out how do we overcome these internal trolls? Do we listen to the trolls? Tune them out? Fight them off?
The main character (Tim) is getting married in three days to his best friend's ex-girlfriend. So that's one level of complicated. But the more significant challenge for Tim is that his best friend is running a successful start-up company (he's got the technology for a smart toilet that sends health updates to your phone. Think of like a FitBit for the bathroom) and is on the verge of being a multimillionaire. Tim's worry trolls are hounding him, making the case that Emma loved Brad before, so how can he be sure she won't love him again; especially now that he's about to become rich and famous.
What should Tim do with that doubt? What should we do with our fears? What should Kevin Durant do if he starts to feel like he did take the easy way out; should he leave the Warriors, sign with the worst team in the league and try to win one? Or should he just hit unsubscribe, keep living his own life?
What's interesting to me is, it seems, that no level of wealth, fame, success automatically erases some of these internal struggles. It's something that we have to take on, and continue to fight.
It took me creating all of these fictional characters, writing this big long book to arrive at an answer that I'm pretty well satisfied with. I hope it can be helpful, and most of all I hope that you enjoy the overall story.
And I wonder, maybe creating fictional characters on Twitter is like the modern-day version of writing a novel. Maybe Durant was being the social media Steinbeck. Whatever the case, I hope KD can slay his own worry trolls and I hope that you will go out and enjoy Tim's journey against his in my brand new novel, Toilet Bowl.
Burnt Ends aka the fat from the post that might be good with some BBQ sauce
Trump National Anthem - Even the most anti-Trump celebrities have to enjoy the PR miracle that is Donald Trump. Got yourself in a scandal? Just wait for a Trump tweet. Have an embarrassing moment everyone's talking about? Just wait for CNN to run after Trump instead.
You can actually get a head start on Toilet Bowl right now. I've already released the book in two parts (Meet the Godfreys and Tour de Bathroom) which are available for sale now (physical book and ebook) on Amazon.com or the CreatesSpace store.
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