Michael Rapaport is trying to put the genie back in the bottle with regards to his social-media feud with Kevin Durant, but it’s way too late for the Nets star.
“I feel bad about it,” Rapaport said Friday on Instagram, shortly after Durant was fined $50,000 by the NBA for vulgar messages he sent the famed actor. “I feel bad about my involvement in the situation. I feel bad that it’s gotten this far. I met him one time. It was cool, cordial. I’m a fan. I met him as a fan.”
The 51-year-old Rapaport struck a different tone than he did Tuesday, when the Manhattan native publicized private messages from Durant that were filled with crude, misogynistic language and physical threats.
The two had begun arguing on social media because Rapaport wrote on Twitter that the 32-year-old Durant was too “sensitive” in a December interview with Charles Barkley and the “NBA on TNT” crew.
“This whole thing got way way way more attention than I thought it would,” said Rapaport, who shared the messages to his 2.2 million Instagram followers and went on ESPN Radio to discuss the online feud.
Durant has since apologized to Rapaport on social media and later said in a news conference that he regretted his fans seeing him using that language.
“The funny thing is he actually had reached out to me about doing something that I call on social media ‘The Shame Game’ — putting people who talk s— on social media on blast,” said Rapaport, who is often seen courtside at NBA games. “That was actually the way we met.
“It’s not the first time I’ve posted people’s (direct messages),” Rapaport said. “It’s funny, when people are saying anti-Semitic things about me, saying racist things about me, threatening me, and they are Joe Schmos, everybody loves it. But when it was Durant, people have 400 opinions: ‘I’m a rat.’ F— all that rat s—.”
While Durant initially said that he and Rapaport “talk CRAZIER than this on the regular,” and that he was surprised Rapaport would publicize the messages, the actor said that the messages were far from friendly banter.
“That’s not locker-room talk,” Rapaport said. “Those are threats that were made over and over and over. It’s been going on for months. On Tuesday of this week, he caught me on a bad day. That being said, in my opinion, the whole situation got blown out of proportion. I don’t premeditate or contrive my behavior or my rants on social media. They come from the gut.
“I know I have lived and learned from this situation,” Rapaport said. “I’ve had to deal with ramifications that I’ll keep to myself. I know he has. I feel bad about it. But it is what it is, and we have to move forward.”