As the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers battled it out in the fourth quarter on Christmas Day, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook was thousands of miles away, out on the court warming up for his game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Thirteen minutes before Kyrie Irving hit a game-winning shot against Kevin Durant’s new team, Westbrook nailed a three-pointer and sprinted off the court.
Westbrook yelled something as he made his exit. The first two words — “thank you” — were clear. The last one was not. If a person set their mind to it they could convince themselves it sounded like “thank you, Kyrie.” That person would have to believe Westbrook was both petty enough to shout this in public and also that he can see into the future.
Apparently, such people exist in droves.
Despite the flimsiest of evidence, speculation that Westbrook had yelled, “thank you, Kyrie” spread like wildfire on the internet. The rumor got so hot that the primary actor was asked about it.
And Westbrook responded like a person quizzed on the dumbest thing possible.
“What? F— do I look like? For real,” Westbrook said. “When would I ever say that? Clear what up? What video?”
“I would never say no other man’s name like that, for one,” Westbrook said. “‘Thank you Kyrie,’ who do I look like? I was talking to my trainer’s daughter, whose name is Jayme. Thank you, Jayme. I’m not going to keep going on that. I’m going to keep my spirit up because I’m not about to even involve myself in no dumb stuff like that. So next question, man.”
…I don’t really know what to add here except that fake news is tough to combat in the face of willful ignorance. Westbrook’s flummoxed demeanor is perfectly understandable.
I’d be upset too if every comment I made was intentionally misinterpreted to create drama. It’s only a matter of time until Durant says something about Westworld‘s confusing plot and it’s used to create controversy with his former teammate with a similar name.