By: Bogart Lipe
Here is the Official Guide For Booing The Player You Now Hate When He/She Comes Back For The First Time.
1. Player Intros
The building needs to shake. An earthquake needs to be induced by the boos when said player is introduced. The PA announcer’s words must be muffled by jeers. This is step 1 in a successful night of booing. A great meal cannot start with a bland, lukewarm appetizer. The basketball booing appetizer must be a delicious blend of frustration and disgust.
The OKC fans served us all a decent appetizer. It grabbed my attention, but did not blow me away. I wanted to stay for dinner, but only because I had made this reservation months in advance and was looking forward to this for just as long. I was not thrilled about spending money on something that says it includes four servings when it only truly serves two, but I was not mad either. It didn’t sate my hunger enough for me to be fully satisfied, however.
OKC Grade: B
The booing cannot stop. If you hate this player as much as you claim to, it must not cease. No matter the score, no matter the situation, the booing must continue. Whenever the player touches the ball, boo. Whenever the player scores, boo. The only situation when booing may halt is if the player commits a foul or misses a shot. Then you can cheer. Every other time the player is involved in the play, boo.
OKC did a wonderful job of this, constantly harassing KD from tipoff until the end of the game. The game was basically over as soon as KD made his first shot, and then it was definitely over once the Warriors got up by 23 going into half, but the fans did not stop. Credit to them. It’s difficult booing one of the best scorers ever as he hangs 34 points on 12-21 shooting and 9 rebounds on your team in a blowout loss, including a 30 footer to formally ice the game when Westbrook was supposed to be guarding him. It’s not easy. But the OKC fans did not stop. It was beautiful, if you’re into the whole booing the best person to ever happen to your sports well-being sort of thing.
OKC Grade: A-
3. Home Team Success
In order to successfully boo an opposing player, your team must keep the game close. The “scoreboard” comeback cannot be available for use by the opponent. In the same way you cannot successfully trash talk when you make a jumpshot while your team is down 20-8 and you are facing game point, you cannot boo with success unless the game is close.
This was hard for the Thunder fans to do. Although they made a mini run in the 4th, the game wasn’t close for roughly 35 minutes of the game. This is admittedly difficult when you’re facing a team that consistently hits shots that only 5 people in the world can make, while having 3 of the aforementioned players. However, Russell Westbrook had the perfect Russ game, with 47 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists, and 11 turnovers. When Russ has a triple double with turnovers game, you know he went full-on Relentless Russ on you. The fact the face of Durant disdain (or so it appears in public) had a monster stats game, for better or worse, helps this would-be failing grade.
OKC Grade: C-
This may be the most important part of the guide. Forget the altered jerseys of the former player. That’ll get you a passing grade, but the true petty fans strive to take it further. You must be original, and have a few current players who will join you in the search for ultimate pettiness. Teamwork is important when being petty. The fans must be on the same page. A theme is preferred, and using previous comments and inside jokes the player made while on your team against him/her takes your pettiness over the top.
Well, OKC took it over the top. T-shirts were abundant. The aforementioned KowarD shirts were common, while cupcakes with the number 35 or the poop emoji were emblazoned on merchandise. The inside joke the Thunder had with KD on the team, calling opposing “soft” players “cupcakes”, was constantly shouted at him during the game. Even if KD isn’t soft (and he is definitely not soft), the fans did not care. This is the embodiment of pettiness. Westbrook was also very petty on Saturday. He even showed up in a Willie Beamen jersey, which I’d like to think was in reference to the Warriors blowing a 3-1 lead (because for those who do not know, Willie Beamen’s jersey number was 13). Did the Thunder blow a 3-1 lead too? Yes. But being petty does not mean acknowledging your own shortcomings, only the opponent’s. The way the fans were a single unit in their heckling of Durant was textbook. They will forever be the gold standard in this part of the Booing Guide.
OKC Grade: A++
Overall OKC Grade: B+
Kevin Durant might not have deserved to be booed. He has done countless wonderful things for the city of Oklahoma City and its sports fans. However, as mentioned before, this is what happens the first game back. There may be a day when Durant gets the standing ovation he deserves, but that day seems very far away as of now. He did get the win, now the 3rd straight over his former team this year, and had yet another efficient 30 point game. So although the OKC fans scored well according to the above guide, KD finished top of the class and the night.