Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

The Oklahoman is sorry they trolled Kevin Durant and The Thunder…

Over the years, one of the largest and most consistent cheerleaders of the Oklahoma City Thunder has been The Oklahoman. Their coverage of the team is so soft and kind-hearted that you’d think they were major sponsors of the team, or that Clay Bennett’s family once owned and still has close ties to the paper. You know, something that would really prevent the paper from being fair and honest.

Well, that all changed this morning. The State’s Most Trusted News shocked the Thunder Universe when they put this on the front page of their Thunder Extra:

mr unreliable

When I first saw the headline, I thought I was dreaming. The only time The Oklahoman is critical of the Thunder is whenever the team wants the paper to paint an elite All Star as a selfish, poor character, playboy because they’re too cheap to pay him. Who cares that the headline is ridiculous and inaccurate. Kudos to The Oklahoman for showing some balls! Send Berry Tramel to piss in front of Chesapeake Arena like he’s the Champion of Meereen.

But then my opinion changed.

After looking through twitter, it seemed like Sports Editor Mike Sherman was enjoying the reaction and uproar a little too much. He retweeted this pandering photo from News 9 and engaged with everyone who questioned the headline. Was this genuine criticism from the paper or just a stunt to troll for publicity?

Well, it turns out it was neither. It was just the Oklahoman being the Oklahoman and screwing something up. They issued this retraction earlier today:

We take great pride in our headlines about big sporting events and news in Oklahoma. Thursday’s headline in The Oklahoman on Kevin Durant’s performance in the Memphis series 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.

Water is wet, the sky is blue and The Oklahoman is back to being the Thunder’s bitch. All is right with the world, I guess.

My favorite part of the retraction is how they credit the “readers” for showing them the error in their headline ways. Yeah right. Since when did The Oklahoman care what their readers think? Their main mission is to appease their friends and supporters. In the time it takes Serge Ibaka to shoot a couple of free throws, I bet Clay Bennett got Oklahoman Publisher Chris Reen on the phone and called him every bad name in the book. That’s how retractions and apologies get published in Oklahoma.

Of course, The Oklahoman couldn’t embarrass themselves without trying to get a couple thousand pageviews out of the deal. The sent their click bait reporter Eric Horn to round up all the tweets where people complained about the headline:

None too many were happy with the headline of the Thursday Thunder Extra section.

Our take: The headline is about the context, not the character of the man or the full scope of what Durant has done in this MVP season. Kevin Durant’s season (and career) has been as reliable as any in history. It’s the Memphis series we’re talking about.

It’s fair to criticize. Here’s a sample of what you thought, good, bad and in between.

(At this point, Erik embeds about 30 tweets that were critical of the paper.)

Anyway, hopefully this headline inspires Kevin Durant to actually play like Kevin Durant tonight and make clutch shots and free throws. That, is of course, if Russell Westbrook decides to throw him the ball. I’m not holding my breath.



  1. TLO could get a ton of page views with a bracket contest to select the best player the Thunder could draft or trade for to replace KD. Don’t forget to include Lacey Swope, Bob Stoops and whoever else looks great in a swimsuit!

    • Also I thought the Mr Unreliable should go on the front page and apply to the doctor who administered the death penalty. Too bad Dr. Kevorkian died.

  2. People actually read that propagandist rag? All Oklahomans need read is the stone tablets my pop had installed on the state capitol.

  3. I think the paper was taking a contrarian stance to try and rile the team up. Maybe the most homer move of all…..

  4. Just wonder what the headlines in NY, Chicago, LA or Boston would have been had he been playing there and suffered the same type of slump at the same time……….I’m thinking beyond brutal…………and you can bet your azz, there would be no apology or retraction.

  5. What is the difference between the Oklahoman and the bandwagon Thunder fans? None. Both are in love with the team as long as everthing is going well. But, as soon as some adversity arise they turn on their heroes.

    You all were born with a silver spoon team in your mouth. We will see what kind of “fans” OKC has when the team goes through a medicore stretch.

    • I’m sure everything will fall off once the Thunder have a mediocre season. I mean, fans barely showed up at all when we hosted the NO Hornets for a while and they were terrible. Oh wait… exactly the opposite happened.

    • Born with a silver spoon team, huh? 2008 was one hell of a successful year.

      Go troll somewhere else.

  6. Not sure why they would single out Durant when there are a number of other players on the Thunder *cough* Perkins *cough* who couldn’t make a basket if they tried. It shouldn’t all rest on the shoulders of one player, but maybe the headline will light a fire under the Thunder.

  7. Well something sure flipped his switch. He was back to his old self last nite. Where has this team been since game 1?

  8. Unreliable is NOT DURANT, unreliable is the oklahoman that quit serving Oklahoma. From southeastern Oklahoma, I can’t even get your paper anymore, look out who you call unreliable, cause you are it. John Davis, Clayton, ok.

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