Even being the greatest player to ever grace a basketball court in Oklahoma City couldn’t buy Kevin Durant a little slack from one local newspaper.
The front page of the “ThunderExtra” section of The Oklahoman on Thursday featured a photo of a falling Durant below the headline “Mr. Unreliable.”
Steve's OKC Central (@stevelackmeyer) May 01, 2014
The explosive headline ran two days after the Thunder star played a game-high 52 minutes and scored 26 points — but missed a crucial free throw — in a 100-99 overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals.
The paper’s editors quickly realized that they might have gone a bit overboard, though. Sports editor Mike Sherman apologized for the aggressive headline in a statement Thursday afternoon.
“We take great pride in our headlines about big sporting events and news in Oklahoma,” Sherman wrote on NewsOK.com. “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.”
The Grizzles can clinch the series with a win in Game 6, which is set for Thursday night in Memphis.