Kevin Durant rips ‘flat out hater’ Stephen A. Smith
Stephen A. Smith delivered a hot take about Kevin Durant’s legacy this week, and the Brooklyn Nets star was obviously quite bothered by it.
While speaking on ESPN’s “NBA Today” Thursday, Smith said Durant’s legacy will be significantly hurt if he does not win a championship with the Nets. If Durant doesn’t win a title in Brooklyn, Smith feels K.D. will be known more for leaving Stephen Curry than he is for the two championships and NBA Finals MVP awards he won with the Golden State Warriors.
Durant responded to Smith’s take on Twitter by calling it “egregious.” Smith stood by the comments on Saturday, but he said his point was more about what people are going to say about Durant than his personal opinion of the 12-time All-Star.
“We all love basketball and we know how phenomenal KD is. I think he’s the best in the world when healthy. That’s how much respect I have for him,” Smith said. “But I’ve been in the media for a little while. There are going to be people — especially if Golden State wins — that are going to look at his choice to join with Kyrie Irving and depart from Steph Curry as opposed to staying with Steph Curry.
“When he tweeted and said it was egregious for me to say that, I tweeted back, ‘You’re absolutely right. It is egregious. It ain’t fair. You deserve better.’ But since when has that had anything to do with headlines on the back pages?”
Durant still isn’t having it. He tweeted on Sunday that Smith is pushing his “personal agendas.” He also said Smith is a “flat out hater” if he thinks Durant’s career will be defined by him leaving the Warriors.
Steve, since u decided to use ESPN to push your personal agendas, im sure your minions will run with this story for you, but if u believe this is what my career is defined by then you just a flat out hater. It’s gonna be hard to box the god in https://t.co/AUMkP8P59g
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) February 6, 2022
Durant and Smith got into it years ago when K.D. called Smith a “liar” over Smith’s reporting on Durant’s free agency. Smith fired back by essentially threatening Durant on live TV.
The feud had been quiet for a while, but it appears to be back.
Photo: Photo: Dec 18, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith broadcasts before a game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports