“But I will say this lastly: you don’t want to make an enemy out of me. And I’m looking right into the camera, and I’m going to say it again. You do not want to make an enemy out of me.”
It was like a line out of a movie, not a sports movie, but maybe something Al Capone said before his “I want him DEAD! I want his family DEAD! I want his house burned to the GROUND!” line in the Untouchables. But why would these words ever leave the lips of ESPN’s resident blow hard, Stephen A. Smith? To take things one step further, why would anyone direct these words to Kevin Durant? The Oklahoma star has only recently begun to craft an icy on court perception, and has always seemed completely humble and unconfrontational off the court to say the least. Nike had to start a “KD is not nice” campaign just to try to give him the finisher image fans usually associate with someone like Kobe Bryant.
So what started all of this? The short version: Stephen A. said he heard from “sources” that if KD decided to leave OKC, he would strongly consider the Lakers, not really a story worth reporting but he proudly reported it anyways. KD then responded to questions regarding this “breaking news” by stating neither he nor any of his friends or family talk to Smith, and that he was lying. Durant’s response was cruel and cold and left Smith in a weird place. He clearly had to respond to Kevin Durant, but in a battle of public opinion, even he had to know he would never come out on top. Thats where the vagueness in his threat comes from, even if he had dirt, there’s little chance it would hurt KD enough to turn the tide of public opinion, and if he tried, whether he succeeded or not people would see Stephen as even more of a vindictive asshole than they currently do. But this does brings us to an important question posed to me the other day; or what? Don’t make an enemy of Stephen A. or else… what? What could be the worst Stephen A. Smith could do to someone like KD?
The truth is, as a writer/journalists, or at the very least, someone who has pretended to be these things, you either have a story or you don’t. I don’t doubt Smith has some dirt about KD’s nightlife, but hell, even we do, but its stupid TMZ shit that nobody cares about. These stories might embarrass KD for a quick second, but would be pointless wastes of TV time, and not content befitting even for the low standards of ESPN. That’s why he has to resort to intimidation. We’d say, looking back at the unfortunate career of Stephen A. Smith, intimidation is his favorite defensive tactic, with a close second being flawed delegitimizing claims. Stephen has responded with intimidation time and again, whether it was Michael Carter Williams, (and now KD) questioning why he has access to athletes, fans doubting his crazy stories, or fellow ESPN reporters questioning his apologist attitude towards Floyd Mayweather’s novel length history of domestic abuse. On that same topic of Floyd Mayweather however, he has also discredited a female host of First Take by agreeing she should have a bad opinion of Floyd’s past, “because she’s a woman.” He did however go back to intimidation when questioned on his views of domestic abuse, accusing questioners and the public alike of needing to grow up. He questioned whether Floyd would ever put hands on a woman, despite already having 6 or so such instances previously, and then joked that the grand larceny was over an iPod. Indeed it was over an iPhone, the victims only way to contact her boyfriend and support network, and a very common tactic used by abusers.
Stephen A. is someone who has only looked out for himself. Everything he says is not so carefully calculated to climb his career up another rung. Luckily, we can all see through his bullshit, even when ESPN tries to camouflage, and overshadow it with the moronic wing nut Skip Bayless.