Draymond Green recently claimed athletes are the “new media,” and Kevin Durant seems to be joining him in attempting to nudge shut Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless off their platforms.

During Wednesday’s First Take on ESPN, Smith fabricated the absurd hot take that Michael Jordan was bad for basketball because his star power was so great. “Michael Jordan is responsible, as much as anybody, for changing the game for the worse!” Smith said.

The opinion was met by plenty of warranted pushback, led by Kevin Durant who is never shy about calling someone out on Twitter. Not only did Durant blast Smith, but he took a major swipe at Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe as well, attacking the two most prominent debate shows in sports media.

“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.

Durant’s tweet led to a reply from Smith, prompting a back and forth, with the First Take host defending the influence he, Bayless, and Sharpe have in sports and the media.

“As for us changing the game for the worse, we disagree,” Smith tweeted. “But here’s the news for you @ KDTrey5. We ain’t going any damn place. For every @stephenasmith, Skip, @ShannonSharpe, and others, there’s thousands more coming down the pike. We’re not going away. We multiply. Sorry!!!!”

The desire that athletes such as Durant, Green, Patrick Beverley, JJ Redick, and others have to transform sports media should be welcomed with open arms. Watching them call out Smith or Bayless on some of their hot takes is a breath of fresh air. But not all athletes offer unbiased reporting, which is why there remains a need for more traditional media including Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless, who despite their propensity for hot takes, still do a good job of moving the needle for sports conversations.

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com