Stephen A. Smith has gone on plenty of crazy rants in his career, but Monday, he might have crossed the line. Again.
The co-host of ESPN’s “First Take” ripped Kevin Durant after the Oklahoma City Thunder star accused him of being a liar. Smith had reported that the Los Angeles Lakers would be Durant’s “primary objective” in free agency if he doesn’t re-sign with the Thunder, and Durant disputed the report.
Smith went on a nearly 20-minute tirade claiming he wasn’t attacking Durant — he called the forward a “good dude” and “wonderful” — but then continued to tear him down and suggest the people around the NBA star might be the ones he shouldn’t trust.
“No. 1: You don’t know who I talk to,” Smith said. “No. 2: If I’m so wrong, why haven’t you not signed an extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder to stay for years and years to come? Is it not you who alluded to how you’re not willing to entertain free agency? Are you trying to tell me you’re not going to consider the second-largest market in the United States of America?”
But the worst part of the rant came when Smith actually threatened Durant, looking at the camera and saying, “You don’t want to make an enemy out of me.”
The ethics of Smith’s final statement are sketchy because it suggests he wouldn’t report fairly on Durant because of a personal grudge. Skip Bayless evidently realized this, too, as he cut Smith off shortly after.
You can check out Smith’s whole spiel in the video below, but it’s at its most heated around the 10-minute mark if you don’t have 20 minutes to spare.
Smith tried to further explain himself on Twitter, but the damage had been done.