ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith didn’t like the recent remark of Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant who told fans to stop watching the playoffs if they don’t like it. Smith called Durant “arrogant” and “disrespectful,” saying the younger KD will not say such thing to the fans.
“He’s aged. And along the process of aging, he’s gotten more arrogant, he’s gotten more disrespectful, he’s gotten more dismissive—particularly of the fans,” Smith said in an episode of ESPN’s First Take (h/t Andrew Joseph of USA Today). “To be quite honest with you, he hasn’t gotten smarter. And the reason why he hasn’t gotten smarter is because the younger Durant never would have said something so flagrantly disrespectful towards fans.”
After the Warriors beat the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3, Kevin Durant left some words to the fans who think the 2017 NBA playoffs haven’t been competitive. “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it,” Durant said. His comments didn’t sit well with well with Stephen A. Smith, who has been criticizing Durant since he left the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Warriors.
Kevin Durant defends himself against critics
Durant stood up for himself and clarified his comments. In an interview with ESPN, the Warriors star explained his side and apologized for those who felt offended and disrespected.
“I mean, life can be simple, man,” Durant told ESPN. “If you don’t like the way the game is going, just turn it off. If you’re enjoying it, just keep it on. Life is simple. I didn’t mean it to disrespect anybody, but if you felt disrespected, I’m sorry. But if you don’t enjoy the game, turn it off [and] turn something else on. If you do, enjoy the rest of it, man.”
No one can blame the fans for saying that the 2017 NBA playoffs haven’t been competitive the way it used to be. Since the arrival of Durant in Golden State, the Warriors became the top favorite to win the 2017 NBA championship title. The Warriors easily beat every opponent they faced in the Western Conference playoffs.
The Spurs, who proved to be the biggest threat on the Warriors, lost star forward Kawhi Leonard in Game 1. The absence of Leonard made it easier for the Warriors to dominate the West. So far, they are 12-0 in the playoffs and headed to their third straight NBA Finals appearances.
Kevin Durant returns to the NBA Finals after 5 years
After five years, Durant is back again in the NBA Finals. The Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers are currently battling in the Eastern Conference Finals where the Cavs lead the series, 3-1. Most people see the Warriors facing the Cavaliers for the third straight year.
The last time Durant reached the NBA Finals was in 2012 where the Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder. Durant might have been playing for a different team against a different opponent but he’ll be matching up against the same superstar, LeBron James.
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Video courtesy: Youtube/ESPN