Stephen A. Smith on Kevin Durant.

It’s not particularly shocking that Stephen A. “You do not want to make an enemy out of me!” Smith is again going in on his favorite target, Golden State Warriors’ forward Kevin Durant, but the specific way he did so on First Take Friday is interesting. Buried in the middle of a rant about Durant’s “disgraceful” and “putrid” performance (he had 20 points and five rebounds, but went six for 15 from the field and was a -11) in the Warriors’ 106-87 loss to the-then-6-7 Houston Rockets Thursday night, Stephen A. went in real hard on Durant for telling a reporter post-game not to ask him about his relationship with Draymond Green (a relationship that made a whole lot of headlines this week, and led to Green being suspended for a game for his comments towards Durant).

First, here’s the clip of Durant’s response to that question:

And here’s Smith’s response to that Friday, starting about 1:55:

“Oh, by the way, you got nothing to say to Draymond, but you’re going to go at a REPORTER, and you’re going to sit up there and say…see, this is moments like this where I really, really miss being a reporter. Could you imagine if he sat up there? ‘You’re going to tell ME how to do MY JOB? I understand you not commenting, I can understand you saying ‘No comment,’ I can understand you saying you’re not going to talk about that no more, but you’re going to look a reporter right in the face and tell him ‘Don’t ask me again,’ like you’re going to DO SOMETHING if he did ask you?”

“Ooooh, ooooh, it’s moments like that where I really, really really miss being THAT GUY, being that reporter. Can you IMAGINE? You’re going to DARE me to ask you? I’d have shut everybody down and asked THE SAME QUESTION, over and over and over again. Like, what do you think you’re going to do if I ask you? You don’t have to answer, but you’re going to TELL ME what to ask? So in other words, you’re on the bench, and you’re upset because of Draymond, you didn’t go hard at Draymond, but you’re going to go hard at A REPORTER?”

“Ooooh, ooooh, you know what, go ahead, Max. I’m just going to drink my tea. I didn’t, I didn’t even have time to drink my tea yet. That’s how bad it’s been. Oh, by the way, I didn’t even mention the flat I had on the way to the office.”

This is an amazing level of outrage from Stephen A., and even though his base premise isn’t wrong (Durant probably shouldn’t be telling reporters what to ask, and responding “No comment” instead of “Don’t ask me again” is a much better approach; the latter’s much more of a threat, and threatening reporters isn’t a great look for players, just as threatening Durant wasn’t a great look for Stephen A.), it’s the level he takes it to that really makes it something. (Watch Molly Qerim’s face here, too; the reactions are great.)

First, Stephen A. does not actually want to be a reporter, given his thoughts on travel and blowouts and given how poorly it always goes for him when he tries to vaguely report something. But beyond that, he makes it sound like he’d create an even bigger confrontation, one that would probably end with him and Durant aggressively snapping at each other:

Stephen A. is always good for dialing up outrage to ridiculous levels, and he certainly does that here. If we ever find a way to convert hot air into power, Stephen A. will singlehandedly solve the world’s energy crisis.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.