This is what happens when you put clicks and exposure over logic.
The Oklahoman, Oklahoma’s state paper, decided the state hasn’t looked stupid enough this past few weeks and decided to publish this headline:
Kevin Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s star player and possible NBA MVP has had some lackluster games lately. Actually, let me correct that. He’s had some human games. Durant, 90% of the time, is ridiculous. Driving the lane, hitting jump shots, doing things that even programmers of NBA Jam didn’t think were possible. But in the first round of the 2014 playoffs, he’s come back to earth. He’s still been pretty good, but not at his regular level.
But the Oklahoman decides to call him this. The guy who broke Michael Jordan’s streak of 25-point games. The guy who lead the Thunder to a fantastic season without the help of Russell Westbrook for most of the time. The guy who helped make Oklahoma City seem like a cool, regular city (when the politicians aren’t torturing inmates or hating gays.)
Now, this headline is trending on Twitter. The picture is being spread everywhere. Congrats, assholes. You did it. You’re getting your clicks and your exposure.
I feel bad for Barry Tramel, the author of the story. At most newspapers, the story’s author doesn’t write the headline. I don’t know if this is the case, but it usually is. He’s probably going to receive most of the vitriol for something he most likely didn’t have a hand in.
And what happens when Durant sees this? Will he feel underappreciated? Will he see this as just a dumb headline and shrug it off? What if he decides the city has grown too selfish and leaves? Royce Young already wrote that headline:
@JonesOnTheNBA New headline” “WAIT! WE DIDN’T MEAN IT! COME BAAAAAAAAACKKKKKKK!!!”
— Royce Young (@royceyoung) May 1, 2014
I can’t even imagine the inept Jenni Carlson columns that would come from this. Oh God, Durant please stay to save us from those!
In the end, I’m frustrated with The Oklahoman for being click-bait whores. But that’s the world we live in, isn’t it? Listacles, controversial headlines, click, click, click. There are many great journalists at the Oklahoman, too. Let’s not hate on them because they don’t deserve it. It’s the headline writers and editors who look at dollar signs before journalism that should be blamed. It’s just a shame.
Check out my 20 awesome thoughts about my Oklahoma trip here!
The Oklahoma has apologized for the headline, saying “missed the mark” and was “unduly harsh.” However, they made sure to embed a photo gallery in the apology so they could get more clicks.