*Sports analyst Stephen A. Smith used his platform on ESPN’s “First Take” Monday morning to address Kevin Durant directly after the Oklahoma Thunder star suggested the journalist was “lying” and “making up stories” regarding his contract extension.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) October 5, 2015
Their back-and-forth started several days ago when Smith cited sources that claimed Durant is considering a move to the Los Angeles Lakers in lieu of signing a contract extension with the Thunder. In an interview with Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman, KD dismissed the report outright, saying no one in his inner circle has spoken to Smith. He also said Smith is “lying.”
My full interaction with Kevin Durant on the Stephen A Smith rumors pic.twitter.com/83n89hKIvl
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) October 2, 2015
It was the “he’s lying” part that seemed to rile Stephen A. Smith the most.
“You don’t want to make an enemy out of me. And I am looking right at the camera,” Smith said Monday. “What I would like to ask Kevin Durant and some of the brothers who talk behind my back in the NBA who probably put him up to something stupid like this … Do you really want me to come out of this seat and go back on the scene? Do you really wanna see me in an NBA arena?
“Because I can assure you I’ll find out more in 10 minutes than I can get from 50 phone calls …. I have proven it,” Smith said.
“I am a black man on national television with a big mouth and I will still stand up today here and I’ll put my resume spanning 22 years plus up against anyone in this industry.”
In the midst of his rant, Smith also reiterated how much he respects Durant as a good man and “one of the top two players” in the NBA. But questioning his integrity as a journalist, Smith said, was out of bounds.
“We really wanna go here? We really wanna start something with ME? You sure about that? I just want people to think about that,” he said.