Ah, the start of the new school year. A time for reconnecting with friends, hoping not to get roasted over the new clothes your mom got for you, and, of course, getting subjected to your teacher’s chosen brand of sports-fandom-masquerading-as-broader-lessons-about-life-and-morality.
User lazycollegedude (way to own your branding, my guy) hit Reddit’s NBA community on Thursday to share what he says is a handout that his brother received at school about what does, and does not, constitute appropriate classroom behavior — a document that, for one reason or another, sees fit to roast Kevin Durant:
DON’T BE A…Kevin Durant
KD left the OKC Thunder last summer after falling to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. Following the end of the season, he decided it was in his best interest to join the very same team that had just knocked him out of the playoffs. Don’t be like KD. Don’t take the easy way out. Things like cheating, plagiarizing, and copying your friends homework may not seem like a big deal now but they are building habits that can significantly hinder you later in life. Additionally, always strive to finish what you’ve started. Half-finished homework is unfinished homework. Don’t try to turn in an assignment if you have not done what is necessary and expected.
DO BE A…Michael Jordan
MJ! The GOAT! 6 championships. 4 MVPs. Yadda yadda. The greatest thing this man ever did? Saving the Looney Tunes from a lifetime of servitude to an alien race. Did MJ take the easy way out? Did he ever back down from a challenge? NO! Be like Mike. Learning a new language is a challenging thing and parts of this year are going to be
The document cuts off there, but we can only assume it continues with the phrase “as tough as deciding midway through your career to leave the NBA to pursue your secondary dream of playing minor league baseball.” (Also, while we appreciate the commitment to “Space Jam” nostalgia, Jordan won five MVPs, Teach.)
If this sort of start-of-the-school-year shade-throwing sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because you remember Tucker Hein doing pretty much the exact same thing last year. The Indianapolis high school algebra teacher (and Oklahoma University graduate) up a bulletin board declaring his classroom a “No KD Zone” in which students “will not take the easy way out” or “walk away from a challenge,” and in which neither students nor teachers are allowed to “quit on” each other, as he and others claim Durant did to Russell Westbrook and the rest of the Thunder by choosing to go to the Bay in free agency.
My feeling now is the same as it was then — that this is kind of a crummy and corny way to impress upon your students the importance of trying hard and doing their best, especially when the option of just saying “It is important and expected that you try hard and do your best” is staring you right in the face. But hey, the tone of everything everywhere these days is angry snark, so why shouldn’t the pervasive sneer of an internet commenter yelling about cupcakes and crybabies be part of the middle-school Spanish syllabus?
Durant, for his part, took the dig in stride after seeing it via SB Nation:
whoever did this should be fired and thrown in jail.
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) August 18, 2017
And, lest you start #WellActually-ing Durant for In Fact Being the Real And True Fascist … it was a joke:
Deleted the first, tweeted the second a minute later. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/adHhlu0oA0
— Seth Rosenthal (@seth_rosenthal) August 18, 2017
For what it’s worth, it seems not all educators molding young minds want to steer their kids clear of being like the four-time scoring champion and reigning NBA Finals MVP:
— AnDrew Levers (@andrew_levers) August 18, 2017
With both sides now fully heard, I encourage you, the BDL-reading youth of America, to make sure to ask your teachers whether they think you should or should not try to be like Kevin Durant. When they ask what the hell you’re talking about, just say, “This dumb thing on the internet.” They probably won’t understand what you mean if they don’t REALLY hoop, though, so be careful not to press it too hard. Don’t want to start the school year off with detention.
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