During Tuesday’s episode of First Take, Smith was put through the wringer by JJ Redick and new ESPN contributor CJ McCollum. Smith made the passing comment that he didn’t like seeing Russell Westbrook attend the introductory press conference of new Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham. Although it was secondary to his larger point, Redick and McCollum didn’t let Smith’s bad take about Westbrook slide.
“You said a random, random take, and then you explained a bunch of things about Russell Westbrook that had nothing about that take,” Redick said. “What is your issue with Russell Westbrook being at that press conference?”
Smith later acknowledged his issue was with the Lakers, not Westbrook, but that was after we watched him twist like a pretzel as he scrambled for a response to the tag-team tandem of Redick and McCollum. And there may not have been anyone who enjoyed the scene more than Durant.
Steve can’t beat up on max Kellerman the boxing guy and the new baseball guy “mad dog” or whatever his name is? I’m locked in now https://t.co/06sVFRJv1s
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) June 7, 2022
“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 Tuesday night. “I’m locked in now.”
Smith infamously booted Kellerman from First Take last year, replacing him with a rotating cast of sparring partners who relish the opportunity to poke holes in his arguments. One of those is that “new baseball guy” referenced by Durant.
A few WFAN hosts replied, demanding that Durant put some more respect on Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s name. To which Durant responded, “sports talk radio makes me nauseous.” A continuation of the NBA star’s attempts at taking a blowtorch to the entire sports media industry.
“My theory is that guys like steve [Stephen A. Smith], skip [Bayless] and Shannon [Sharpe] have changed the game for the worse. Playas like Stephen and Michael can only push the game forward,” Durant tweeted in response to Smith’s absurd Jordan take.
Durant might believe Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless are bad for sports, but that hasn’t stopped the former NBA MVP from being locked into what they’re saying.