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Kevin Durant Puts Royce White in His Place

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 01:  Kevin Durant #35 of the Oklahoma City Thunder looks up to the video board during Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Houston Rockets at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 1, 2013 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Josh MartinNBA Lead WriterMay 3, 2013

Kevin Durant is, at worst, the second-best basketball player in the NBA, if not on planet Earth. Royce White is...well, not.

You could understand, then, if the superstar swingman for the Oklahoma City Thunder wasn't quite sure to whom the media were referring when they mentioned White, a rookie forward for the Houston Rockets who has never appeared in an official NBA game, after OKC's 107-100 loss in Game 5 (via Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle):

'Who’s he?' Durant said.

When told that White is the Rockets rookie first-round pick from Iowa State, Durant seemed to remember.

'I haven’t seen him on the bench,' Durant said. 'He hasn’t played against us so I’m not worried about guys that’s not even in our series. Ain’t that the guy that can’t, that’s afraid to fly? I wish him the best. If I see him next year, I’ll let him know who we are.'

So why, pray tell, would anyone be asking K.D. about White? After all, the rookie forward out of Iowa State hasn't played a single minute in this playoff series and is far better known for his fear of flying than for his hoops exploits.

Let's go back to May 1, just after Houston managed to stave off elimination against the Russell Westbrook-less Thunder in OKC. Ever the active tweeter and enthusiastic Rockets employee, White let it be known that OKC was looking "shaky":

 

Predictably enough, White's comment elicited a slew of responses, including a number from his more than 300,000 followers, to which he replied defiantly:

 

Evidently, Royce thought the ramifications of his jab had run their course:

 

Until the next morning, when White awoke to a flood of Internet venom. He did his best to quell the angry mob, insisting that he was "only a spectator":

 

That it doesn't matter if he played or not because he's not talking smack:

 

That his anxiety disorder has nothing to do with his freedom of speech:

 

And that he's well aware of Kevin Durant's on-court superiority: 

 

Followed by another extended string of retorts to the "haters" who took the time to deliver their vitriol to White via the Twitter machine:

 

Then, White dug deeper into the collective psyche of social media:

 

Royce wrapped up his tirade with a quick summary of the ongoing discussion:

 

Before finally (and mercifully) "signing off."

That's quite a bit of motivational fuel that Durant could justifiably throw into his personal fire ahead of Game 6. He insists that he won't (via Jonathan Feigen):

I don’t get fired up off stuff. I get fired up just playing this game, enjoying the game. Like I said, I wish him the best. I wish he could have played and really felt this intensity for a playoff game, but I guess watching on TV is better.

Not that Durant's semi-diss will stop Royce White because, evidently, the D-Leaguer is Twitter's latest answer to Cartman on Maury...or something.

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