It doesn't get much more childish than two NBA players getting involved in a social media feud.
It all started with something completely harmless: Sports Illustrated's Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney's list of top 100 NBA players for the 2013-14 season.
On that list, LeBron James is No. 1, Kevin Durant is No. 2, Dwyane Wade is No. 8, Kobe Bryant, coming off a major Achilles injury, is No. 9 and James Harden is the first one outside the top 10 at No. 11. Some will agree, and some will uselessly scream at their computer monitors or type the hate of a thousand fires onto a message board.
In the end, though, it's two writers giving their opinion and backing it up with lots of really good information. Nothing out of the ordinary—something to read and then move on from.
Well, not quite.
In an interview with The Palm Beach Post, Durant said that Harden—his former teammate—deserved to be in the top 10 instead of Wade, setting off an unnecessary chain reaction in the social media world.
First, Wade responded with this beautifully hand-written note on Instagram:
Durant quickly shot back via Twitter, basically telling the three-time NBA champ to shut his yapper:
Even Heat teammate Udonis Haslem got into the mix:
At the Thunder's media day on Friday, however, Durant finally got a chance to address the feud via the normal channels and seriously downplayed the entire issue, via CBS Sports' Royce Young:
"Dwyane Wade is a great, great player, man," Durant said. "I'm not discrediting anything he's done or nothing like that. I just voiced my opinion. He's a great, great player. Finals MVP and champion. I didn't mean to disrespect that or take that away or anything. I just voiced my opinion as of today. I love you D-Wade, man. It's just competition."
Pretty, pretty please tell me this means that the online "beef" between these two superstars is coming to an end.
Because it was all elementary and superfluous.
Don't get me wrong. Being able to see closer into the lives of athletes via social media is, most of the time, quite awesome. Especially because someone let JR Smith and Metta World Peace onto the Internet. And Durant was right—he was just voicing his opinion, and there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's encouraged.
But none of the useless bickering needed to happen.
Wade didn't need to take Durant's comment personally and act like he was just compared to Brian Scalabrine (sorry, Brian).
Forget the fact that Durant is still good friends with Harden, a fact that undoubtedly went into his original comment. If one player says you should be outside the top 10—which, in Wade's case, probably means No. 11 or 12—who gives a tiny rat's behind? It's a meaningless ranking and someone's opinion.
Does Wade, one of the best shooting guards of his generation, really need that as motivation? Even if he wants to use it as motivation, which is fine, post Durant's comments on the wall. Don't needlessly tell everyone you're using it as motivation.
Similarly, Durant's "show me don't tweet me" tweet wasn't necessary, either, and probably would have been a good opportunity for him to practice what he preaches.
Howard’s response: “I think it's real. What I told James is, stay away from it. We do our talking on the floor. We'll play both those teams, and when we do, show them who's the best shooting guard in the world.”
I never really thought I'd ever say this, but...thank you, Dwight.
Social media is great for many things, but settling useless spats is not one on them. That's best reserved for the hardwood.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!