Aug 5, 2021; Saitama, Japan; United States forward Kevin Durant (7) claps on the bench against Australia in the third quarter during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Saitama Super Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

As much as you might hate listening to Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith, trust us, Kevin Durant hates it even more.

The Brooklyn Nets star has never been shy about engaging with media members and others on Twitter. In December, when Bayless did one of his weird rants about LeBron under the guise of praising Durant, the Nets’ power forward was having none of it. KD responded, simply, “I really don’t like u.”

On February 3, the NBA Today crew were discussing the Nets and how they need to make good on their hype. Smith specifically called out Durant, saying that “if [the Nets] do not win a championship. … Kevin Durant 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 MVPs?”

Durant noticed, and responded succinctly to the clip on Twitter. “Egregious,” wrote KD.

Also responding to Smith’s comments was Wanda Durant, Kevin’s mother. On Saturday, she scolded the ESPN talking head by saying “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?”

For what it’s worth, Stephen made sure to respond to Ma Durant later that day.

But Smith wasn’t so sorry that he stopped talking about KD. On Saturday’s NBA Countdown, he followed through on his criticism of Durant and the Nets, once again saying that if Durant fails to deliver a championship with the Nets while the Warriors win, that will become his legacy.

And if you don’t think Durant was watching, well, you don’t know how KD operates.

“Steve, since u decided to use ESPN to push your personal agendas, im sure your minions will run with this story for you, but if u believe this is what my career is defined by then you just a flat out hater,” wrote Durant. “It’s gonna be hard to box the god in.”

And if you have a problem with Durant referring to himself as god, well, he’s not interested in hearing about it.

Never one to back down himself, and obviously knowing exactly what he’s doing, Smith responded to Durant on Sunday morning with a lengthy thread in which he reaffirmed that he thinks Durant is the best player in the world but he’s simply pointing out a narrative that exists.

Would it be fair to say that Smith is coming out of this looking like the right one here? At least for now. That narrative is indeed going to follow Durant around if he’s unable to win another NBA title away from the Warriors, especially if Golden State wins another one without him. Of course, Smith might end up being one of the loudest voices to perpetuate the narrative, making this a self-fulfilling prophecy, but that doesn’t make it factually incorrect.

It’s certainly fun to see Durant spar with media critics so flippantly, an uncommon trait for so many stars on his level, even if it comes from a thin-skinned place. But ultimately, Smith is right. The best thing Durant can do to get the ESPN folks to shut up is to win a championship with the Nets. There’s certainly a lot of drama surrounding that possibility at the moment, but it’s very possible as well.

And once he does that, KD can berate Stephen A. Smith all day long on Twitter to everyone’s delight.

[Kevin Durant, Stephen A. Smith]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to