Sorry, Kevin Durant, you may be one of the most likable people in sports, but you are now locked in a Lynchian nightmare from which you can’t escape.
Three years ago, Lil B tweeted, “KEVIN DURANT WILL NEVER WIN THE TITLE AFTER HE SAID ‘LIL B’ IS A WACK RAPPER.” He then launched “THE BASEGODS CURSE” which is, to the best of my knowledge, the only lasting curse in NBA history, as well as the most powerful.
Last night, at the end of the fourth quarter of Game 6 of the NBA's Western Conference Finals, with a trip to the NBA Finals on the line, Kevin Durant took the ball at the top of the key and was in a position to give the Oklahoma City Thunder the lead against the San Antonio Spurs. When he tried to cross over his defender, he slipped on what may have been a wet spot on the floor. Everyone watching immediately thought the same thing:
The Thunder lost and were yet again knocked out of the playoffs—their third such departure in as many years.
There have been attempted curses before, but none as explicit as Lil B’s. Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cavaliers, famously pledged in a letter typed in comic sans after LeBron left his team that, “THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE." This was proven erroneous on June 21, 2012 when LeBron and the Heat beat—you guessed it—Kevin Durant’s Oklahoma City Thunder.
That was 390 days after Lil B tweeted his curse.
Gilbert's curse was easily trumped by Lil B's. Who knows what would have happened if LeBron hadn’t faced the cursed Thunder. Would he still be wandering the earth, a pariah of unclutchness?
If you need a reminder of what started the curse, its origin comes from Twitter, naturally. KD incurred Lil B’s wrath by tweeting, “I tried to listen to Lil B and my mind wouldn't let me do it....can't believe this guy is relevant.” Like any good folktale, this saga is heavily drenched in irony: Durant’s punishment is an eternity of relevancy for Lil B—at every moment of failure, Lil B’s name will be tweeted and invoked. (That is not to say that Lil B would not be relevant on his own. Please don’t curse me, Based God.)
If you are so inclined to pick at the Thunder as a whole, there are some legitimately decent reasons for the team to be cursed; they were stolen from Seattle and their arena is named after “the biggest frackers in the world.” Both those transgressions are deserving of scorn, especially considering Lil B is on the record as being staunchly anti-hydraulic fracturing. Yet there is no indication that he cursed Durant for any reason beyond the fact that Durant called him a “Wack Rapper” (not to get into semantics, but KD never specifically said those words).
Until Kevin Durant wins a title, no one can say that “The Basegods Curse” doesn’t exist. Even Lil B himself can’t do that. Lil B once took back the curse with another tweet, but then he followed that up with the diss track “Fuck KD,” indicating that the curse was on again. However, in an interview with SBNation, Lil B said, “I took the curse off. I took it off for good. Now it's up to Kevin Durant. This is a test for Kevin.” But it was always up to Kevin. That’s what the curse is all about.
Like the blue key in Mulholland Drive signaling that the assassination is in motion, there is no reversing “The Basegods Curse.” Sorry, Kevin Durant, you may be one of the most likable people in sports, but you are now locked in a Lynchian nightmare from which you can’t escape.
This curse defies explanation, and it now lives in the metaphysical. Lil B himself said, “I've seen Russell Westbrook. I've seen James Harden. I'm not paying attention to Kevin Durant. I don't have any recollection of watching him play.” How is any of that possible? All attempts at explanation are futile.
Basketball fans will try to say that the Thunder lost because of poor bench play (five points in Game 6), terrible coaching, an injury to Serge Ibaka, and the overall superiority of the San Antonio Spurs. What they can’t explain, however, is how Lil B managed to affect all of those things with one simple tweet.
Moving forward, the Thunder will continue to be good. Even if they retain their tween coach who has no clue how to run an offensive set after a timeout, they will cruise through the regular season next year and make the playoffs. They may even make it to the finals, because they will have two of the best players in the league. Unfortunately, one of those players—the current MVP—is cursed.
I am rooting for Kevin Durant. I think he is a good dude, and it's an absolute joy to watch him play basketball. However, I am not rooting against the curse, for I am too weak of talent and spirit to survive whatever awaits those who do.
UPDATE: Adding insult to injury, Lil B just released his long awaited mixtape, Hoop Life. Sorry KD, this really isn't your day. Download Hoop Life here.
Nick Greene thanks Based God every day for his good fortune in life. He's on Twitter - @NickGreene
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