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Stephen A. Smith responded to Kevin Durant’s allegation that Smith made up a report about the NBA star by going on a rant during ESPN’s “First Take.”
Last week, Smith reported that Durant would be “eyeing” the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason when he becomes a free agent.
Durant, who has largely avoided talk of his free agency, responded and said that neither he or any of his family or friends had spoken to Smith, calling Smith a “liar” and saying that he made it up.
When the topic came up on “First Take,” Smith first said that he’s glad he had the weekend to let this simmer, otherwise he would have gone crazy on the air.
What followed, however, wasn’t that far removed from crazy.
Smith noted that he has interviewed Durant many times and has had conversations with him off the record before. He also added that Durant’s friends and family had reached out to Smith over the weekend, saying they didn’t want this disagreement to turn into a larger issue.
Smith continued, noting that this isn’t the first time Durant has called out the media, saying it takes away from his credibility to question Smith’s report. Last February, at All-Star Weekend, Durant lashed out at reporters, saying that he only speaks to media because he has to, adding that they’re not his friends and he really doesn’t care about the reporting.
Smith then proceeded to boast about his résumé, saying that through his years of experience as a reporter, he has the credibility and sources to confidently report such a story.
Where it begins to go off the rails is when Smith starts to fire back at Durant, seemingly threatening Durant with the idea of going back into the field as a full-time reporter.
“Do you really want me to come out of this seat and go back on the scene?” he asked. “Do you really wanna see me at an NBA arena? Because I can assure you, I’ll find out more in 10 minutes than I can get in 50 phone calls. … We really wanna start something with me? You’re sure about that?”
Smith does note that he has no personal qualms with Durant and thinks that he’s a good person and good for the NBA, but that he doesn’t need to talk to Durant to report on him.
Watch the entire segment below: