As one of the world’s leading sports analysts, Stephen A. Smith often finds himself in a battle against the most prominent athletes.
Late last week, the infamous ESPN broadcaster attracted the latest round of criticism when he spoke some controversial words about Kevin Durant’s legacy.
“If these brothers [Brooklyn Nets] do not win a championship. … KD is on the verge for being recognized more so for the guy that left Steph Curry to go with Kyrie Irving, than he is for the two chips and two finals MVP.”
Durant was quick to respond to the quote, calling it “egregious” in a one-word tweet. But the 2x Champion was not the only one to call out Mr. Smith.
On Twitter, Durant’s mother, Wanda, took her own swing at Stephen A., calling his comments “limited thinking” and “narrative baiting.”
you at it again with your limited-thinking-negative-narrative-baiting-comments; when will you show up better? More importantly, when will we grow tired of this foolishness?
The idea that KD’s legacy could be defined by his failures in Brooklyn is a hot take, and it has clearly ruffled the feathers of the Durant family.
Speaking on First Take about his Twitter battle, the basketball insider let his final thoughts on the subject be known:
Okay. Stop the b.s. Religiously I’ve been on the record calling you the best in the WORLD. This is not about your game and you know it. We all know you’re great and you’re a champion. We will celebrate that forever when you’re DONE playing… But right now, YOU ARE PLAYING. Chapters are still being written. You’re measured by what’s taking place in the moment. And with all the stuff that’s gone on w/ KYRIE, if y’all don’t win but Steph does, the narrative in a lot of folks eyes is that you left Steph to join HIM (in Brooklyn). Period. I don’t wish it. I’m not rooting for it. I’m just calling it like I see it, and also based on what we’ve seen folks do for years. None of us get to control that narrative. We just have to call it for what it is. I meant no disrespect to you and you damn-well know it. I’m simply pointing out that you have to win, or else there’s going to be a narrative that you don’t like. The Nets are YOUR team. Folks will look to YOU. That’s what comes along with GREATNESS……. which is what you clearly possess. You want to go back and forth? We can do that… But it ain’t necessary. You know exactly what I mean and if you’re confused, you know the number. The last thing I am is hard to find.
No matter how you feel about KD, his current situation does not reflect particularly well on his legacy. After failing to win a title in OKC, he joined a 73-9 Warriors team and led them to back-to-back titles before leaving after just three seasons.
Now, tasked with leading his own superstar crew, the former MVP is having trouble finding similar success. His teammates are unreliable, his durability has been questionable, and his tenure with the franchise overall can only really be classified as a failure so far.
It’s not too late for Durant to change the narrative. But, for now, fans are going to wonder if he made a mistake leaving Steph Curry and the Warriors behind.