Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant made some waves after Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, saying fans who are upset with the tons of playoff games that have ended in blowouts this postseason just shouldn’t watch.
Kevin Durant on the amount of blowouts this postseason: "If you don't like it, don't watch it." pic.twitter.com/WaqGEt93k5
— Kenny Ducey (@KennyDucey) May 21, 2017
On Monday’s episode of First Take, Stephen A. Smith ripped into Durant for his comments, saying the 28-year-old has essentially become a significantly worse human being during the last few seasons.
Shocked? You shouldn’t be.
Here are Smith’s comments:
“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. And 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 would’ve never said something so flagrantly disrespectful towards fans.
“That guy who was crying during his MVP speech, dedicating so much to his mother. And the affection he garnered because of it and the manner in which he’s conducted himself as a basketball ambassador and all of that other stuff, it’s to be commended. It’s just not the Kevin Durant that we’ve been seeing over the last couple of years.”
It’s no secret that Durant and Smith have a history. Just last month, Smith blamed Durant for ruining the regular season. Earlier in the season, he also blasted the eight-time All-Star for “riding the coattails” of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Their tense history goes all the way back to October 2015, when Durant denied Smith’s report that he was considering the Lakers during free agency. Smith responded by looking directly into the camera on First Take and threatening Durant.
It’s not a ridiculous take to believe Durant’s comments disrespected NBA fans. But I’m not convinced Stephen A. would have said this if the words came out of another NBA player’s mouth, especially considering this rant turned mostly into a character assassination.
On Monday night, Durant went out and scored 29 points on 10-for-13 shooting as the Warriors blew past the Spurs again to sweep the Western Conference Finals.