Kevin Durant enjoys Stephen A. Smith taking heat on First Take



It seems Kevin Durant enjoyed ESPN’s “First Take” on Tuesday.

The Nets star reveled in TV nemesis Stephen A. Smith getting heat for questioning Russell Westbrook’s appearance at new Lakers coach Darvin Ham’s introductory press conference on Monday.

Steve can’t beat up on max Kellerman the boxing guy and the new baseball guy “mad dog” or whatever his name is?” Durant tweeted on Tuesday night. “I’m locked in now.”

Smith had his “First Take” cohost Max Kellerman ousted in favor of a rotating panel of guests including former WFAN personality Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, heard it from JJ Redick and CJ McCollum over his Westbrook thought.

“Him being at that press conference yesterday — actually to me — I didn’t like it,” Smith said, without giving much in the way of reasoning.

“You said a random, random take, and then you explained a bunch of things about Russell Westbrook that had nothing about that take,” Redick responded. “What is your issue with Russell Westbrook being at that press conference?”

espn first take stephen a smith, jj redick, cj mccollum
Stephen A. Smith caught plenty of flack for his Russell Westbrook take from co-hosts JJ Redick and CJ McCollum.
Kevin Durant #7 of the Brooklyn Nets reacts after he is called for an offensive foul
Kevin Durant and Smith have not been shy about trading barbs on their respective mediums.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“That’s a wild thing for you to say,” McCollum added. “Him supporting his team, his organization, his coach, a fellow African American man that gets hired by the Los Angeles Lakers? This is what you said! … You said that him going to the press conference, you’re disappointed in that? Run the tape. We got the tape. That’s what you said. … Even if you didn’t mean it the way I said it, you said that he shouldn’t have been at that press conference, that’s foul.”

Smith went on to say the Lakers’ discussion of moving Westbrook meant he shouldn’t have gone to Ham’s presser.

Redick and McCollum piling on to Smith was clearly a delight for Durant, who has continually feuded with the ESPN talking head. Most recently, Durant took a shot at Smith — via Fox’s Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe — for claiming Michael Jordan changed the game of basketball for the worse.

“My theory is that guys like Steve, Skip [Bayless] and Shannon [Sharpe] have changed the game for the worse,” Durant tweeted on June 2. “Playas like Stephen [Curry] and Michael can only push the game forward.”


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