The Twitter beef that wasn’t or maybe was

An innocuous tweet set the basketball Twittersphere on fire as two of the league's best perimeter players went at it over something us fans are usually left to argue over.

It all started when Kevin Durant noted that Sports Illustrated had left James Harden off of its list of the top-10 players. Durant went a step further and said the magazine should take Dwyane Wade out to add the budding young Rockets guard and former Thunder teammate.

Wade was none too happy about that. He has only been a three-time NBA champion and a former scoring champion. Some would even argue he is in the top-10 shooting guards of all time. So Wade was not happy and took to Instagram to prove it:

Deep breaths. Because now it is going to get weird and/or mysterious.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/ZimbioThe initial thought was that this was some made-up Twitter beef. After all, it was only a year ago that Wade and Durant were haunting each other in their nightmares for a Gatorade commercial. Awful Announcing took it as a moment to make fun of Skip Bayless — and there are sooooo many of those — for thinking this Twitter beef was real.

Bayless even took it as a moment to yell at Durant to show him and not tweet him that he deserved his spot in the top 10, or whatever inanity Bayless was trying to argue. I guess, Bayless forgot 28.1 points per game while shooting better than 50 percent from the floor last year, becoming one of just three active players to average 25 points per game while shooting at least 51 percent from the floor. LeBron James and Amar'e Stoudemire are the other two and James also did it last year.

Wade, by the way, scored 20 points per game and shot better than 50 percent from the floor, one of four players to do that with Tony Parker being the other. So Wade was no slouch either last season.

So, was this thing real or fake?

There is evidence to suggest that this was a real feud of some sort despite the seemingly commercial way it took place.

Last Friday, Darren Rovell of ESPN reported Durant and Gatorade were preparing to part ways. The timing was very odd and would be even odder still if this was some kind of commercial squabble.

So predictably, earlier this week, the backtracking began. Durant went on The Chris Mannix Show and clarified his comments and said he meant no disrespect to Wade. It seems like this was what it was all along — Durant sticking up for a former teammate.

To be honest, I forgot all about it, I forgot that I said that until I checked on Twitter. A lot of Heat fans tweeted me and said not so nice things, which was expected. But I wasn’t trying to disrespect D-Wade in any type of way or discredit anything he’s done. He’s a champion, their team is a champion. I can’t say anything about their team. I can’t. They beat us in the Finals and they won back-to-back. I can’t say anything about their team. Basically what I was saying was that D-Wade passed the torch onto guys like James Harden, just to name one. I think that was just my opinion. I respect D-Wade, and I’m sure everybody’s saying that he’s going to use that as motivation, but he’s always been a motivated player, and it’s not going to change what I bring to the table. And I’m gonna stand by everything I say. No matter if I’m winning or losing, I’m going to say the same thing.

That settles that, maybe?

For whatever it is worth, James Harden offered no comment. Probably the smartest thing said all week on this matter.

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily