In a somewhat fascinating segment on ESPN First Take, Smith hijacked the desk from co-host Skip Bayless and told Durant, “You don’t want to make an enemy out of me. And I am looking right at the camera.”
While it seemed more like a Sopranos audition tape than sports journalism, this sort of behavior has become sort of the norm for Smith — who tweeted he would he would continue later:
I will respond to @KDTrey5 on @FirstTake right now!!! Then later too, on my radio show. Like I've said repeatedly, I HIDE FROM NO-DAMN-BODY!— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) October 5, 2015
Durant responded to Smith's original story at the time: “I don’t talk to Stephen A Smith at all. Nobody in my family, my friends, they don’t talk to Stephen A Smith. So he’s lying.”
Smith specified that he never spoke to any of those people in Durant's circle.
But the habit of sports reporters becoming part of the story is getting tiresome. Although Smith did make a point to say that if he was lying in his initial report about Durant going to the Lakers, Durant should sign a long-term deal with Oklahoma City to prove him wrong, his street corner threat doesn't cut it.
Whether or not it is appropriate for journalists and professional athletes to battle in public is one thing, but Smith is in no position to tell Durant what to do with his life in order to prove a point.