Stephen A. Smith Responds to Kevin Durant’s Mother Asking If ESPN Move Was Weak

Stephen A. Smith attends ESPN: The Party 2017 held on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, in Houston, Texas. (Photo by John Salangsang/Invision/AP)

John Salangsang/Associated Press

Stephen A. Smith was not going to let Kevin Durant‘s mother get away with her comments against him.

Wanda Durant went on First Take without Smith present, comparing his move to ESPN with Durant’s decision to leave the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors. However, Smith explained why the situations were different.

“ESPN never beat me,” Smith said. “… If ESPN was ‘the enemy’ and I was knocking at the door literally about to push the champions off of their cliff and I failed, I damn sure wouldn’t join them.”

Durant and the Thunder held a 3-1 lead over the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals last year before eventually falling in seven games.

This comparison is from Wanda Durant’s comments Sunday, which came in defense of her son after Smith’s critical comments about him.

“When he came to ESPN, was that a weak move for him?” she asked. “He joined some more heavy hitters, right? To up his career, right? To do what was best for him.”

Prior to his time at ESPN, Smith spent 16 years as a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His first stint with the worldwide leader went from 2003-08, but he joined First Take on a permanent basis in 2012.

“It may have been weaker for ESPN to ever let me go in the first place,” he said in his rant Wednesday. “… I did not go to a new home, I came back to a home I belonged all along.”

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