Stephen A. Smith Calls Kevin Durant “Weak.” Stephen A. Smith Should Shut The Fuck Up » VSB

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Stephen A. Smith Calls Kevin Durant “Weak.” Stephen A. Smith Should Shut The Fuck Up

ESPN screenshot


There have already been and will continue to be many takes and opinions about Kevin Durant’s decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors; some good, some not so good, and most completely unable to accurately assess until the end of the 2016-2017 NBA season.

None however will be worse than what Stephen A. Smith said on ESPN this morning, who called it “the weakest move I’ve ever seen from a superstar.”

He reiterated his feelings on Twitter:

This is, of course, the same Stephen A. Smith who left his job at the Philadelphia Inquirer for a much more lucrative and higher profile gig at ESPN. Who could have, of course, stayed at the Inquirer for his entire career — which could last another 20 or 30 years — and attempted to make it competitive with ESPN. (He would have failed, but he still could have tried.) But instead he made the wise decision for his family and his legacy and chose to join a dominant media entity full of already established stars; a place that makes his job a bit easier and pays him millions of dollars to insult the decisions made by men with less than 10 years left in their careers.

I recognize this analogy isn’t perfect. But just remember that Stephen A. Smith is full of shit. Stephen A. Smith can (and should) shut the fuck up. But won’t, of course. Because money.

Happy 4th!

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • PoetrysTruth

    I really truly think he believes volume of voice = valid opinion. Nope.

    • HouseOfBonnets


  • Guest

    Would rather live in Cali than OKC.

    Don’t blame the kid.

    • Val

      I hope he has cost of living provisions in his contract though.


        I agree. He has top notch lawyers, so he should be fine.

      • Kas

        ??? Do you know something about the salary cap I don’t?

        • Val

          Nope. I just know how expensive it is to live in the Bay Area. Especially as compared to living in OK City.

          • Kas

            Ok. He is signing a max contract. It doesn’t make allowances for the cost of living, state taxes or lack thereof, etc.

            • Epsilonicus

              With his contract, I am sure cost of living is not going to be a concern.

  • Mortal Man

    So…is anyone gonna be able to stop the Warriors next season? Or are we accepting Dub Nation being the NBA cheat code of 2016-2017?

    Knicks need to take notes. This is how you win free agency.

    • Damon Young

      “So…is anyone gonna be able to stop the Warriors next season?”

      On paper, they’re the best offensive team I’ve ever seen. But I do wonder if Curry and Durant are going to battle over who’s the alpha dog there. Curry is the MVP, but Durant is better. So that’ll be interesting.

      • PriceIsRightHorns

        That’s exactly what it will come down to. #EgoTrip

      • brothaskeeper

        Chemistry is always the rub. The same question was posed when LeBron went to Miami, and it took them a season to gel, but they did it. I think their essential piece is Bogut.

        • Knickfan4life

          Bogat might have to go to free up cap space or Shaun Livingston

          • brothaskeeper

            Word is he and Harrison Barnes might be headed to Dallas, but if I were GSW, I’d keep Bogut.

            • Knickfan4life

              Already finalized bogus traded.


              He’s going to Dallas now.

      • Durant may cause friction to an otherwise happy young team .. that will be interesting ..

      • KingsCounty

        There will be no battle. KD has forfeited his alpha dog title the second he made this decision. He already doesn’t act like the alpha of his own team, no way he speaks up on another mans team. he will get in line and follow the lead of curry and green like the rest of the team. To me, this says he’s tired of leading and would rather be led.

        • T.Q. Fuego

          He lost his alpha dog status when he went invisible man in games 5, 6, and 7 of the Western Conference Finals this year. It’s not like Westbrook was hoggin the ball. It’s just not in his personality to be the alpha dog.

          • Kas

            I think he recognizes that which is a win for him and his new team.

            • T.Q. Fuego

              True. Not everybody wants to be the man…but I guess all of us just had more confidence in his skills/potential than he did…oh well.

              • Kas

                I think it’s a more a personality thing than lack of confidence in his own skills. Every CEO, needs a COO to be successful.

                • T.Q. Fuego

                  I think he’s shirking responsibility because he doesn’t believe that he can handle it as the 2nd most valuable player on his team. That’s definitely not having confidence in your abilities as a player. He also doesn’t have the personality for it, but that’s a separate point. His personality is the reason that he didn’t think he was good enough to beat the Warriors.

          • tgtaggie

            I agree. I think this move fits his personality a little better

          • Conrad Bess

            The NBA is filled with too many Scottie Pippens (my fav player of all time), and not enough Michael Jordans. But maybe 4 Scotties is enough to take the 2017 title.

            • T.Q. Fuego

              Right. That’s a good analogy. 4 Scottie Pippens where 2 of them have MVP caliber talent. A never before seen type of construction. It’s like if Gary Payton and Karl Malone joined Shaq and Kobe with the Lakers in their prime instead of in their last year when they were geriatrics. New school religion is shamelessness. No shame in being an opportunist or a coward. But whatevs. What they eat don’t make me sh*t #shruglife

            • T.Q. Fuego

              That’s a great way to put it. 4 Scotties with 2 of them having an MVP caliber skillset. And Klay being a better offensive player than Scottie. This really is generation shameless. The only thing they stand for is the refusal to feel shame for questionable decisions. They downplay or rationalize cowardly opportunistic behavior like their life depended on it. They’re the type that think the ends justifies the means if the ends is material success. It really is an unspoken new age religion, but whatever. What they eat don’t make me sh*t. I’m only disappointed because I usually wanna root for people (especially KD), but they force me to lose respect for em instead. I don’t like being a hater AT ALL, but they leave me no choice smh

              • Conrad Bess

                LeBron has 3 rings. But his 1st nowhere compares to the one he just won. He came back to his city (although that owner should’ve caught a 2 piece), and brought joy to Cleveland. KD would’ve been a God in OKC. He doesn’t have “it”. “It”is why MJ, Kobe, Larry Bird, Isaiah Thomas et al. were hated. They wanted to crush you physically, mentally, spiritually to win. They were willing to be hated by teammates in order to win. You have outliers like Magic, LeBron, and Tim Duncan. Good people generally on/off court, but their numbers are few.
                As an aside, I dare someone to say Scottie wouldn’t have been better than Jordan if he had MJ’s mean streak.

      • rahshedah

        Money is also a factor and the fact that the Warriors don’t ‘need’ Durant. This could be a disaster.

    • brothaskeeper

      Dolan is the Jerry Jones of NBA owners. They gotta let Melo go pad his stats elsewhere and start building around Porzingis. Joakim and DRose both peaked in 2012. Maybe Phil Jackson knows something.

      • Knickfan4life

        He has a no trade clause

        • brothaskeeper

          Aw damn. Y’all are screwed.

      • KingsCounty

        Knicks move was great for next season, to have money to spend again. But rose and Noah don’t excite me at all. Noah is passionate and that’s great, but his passion has never gotten him past Lebron. No matter how good his team is, Lebron has always been better and this is more of the same. The Knicks- Cavs match ups will be fun but that’s it.
        KP is the future tho, develop him at all costs.
        And Dolan, is the worst.

        • I disagree. It’s a flier with great potential to work out, and it’s easy to cut your losses if they don’t. I wish they would have sent Galloway over Grant, but I have no complaints otherwise. Plus Brandon Jennings is a solid PG who is a great insurance plant for Rose.

    • Knickfan4life

      How exactly do you win free agency? Everyone had money this year The Knicks did exceptional Noah and green they are going to shock a lot of people next year.

      • Duva

        Don’t know about exceptional with Noah, Rose, and Melo, but I think C Lee was a solid pickup. If KP keeps developing I definitely expect a playoff spot this year. Bench still a bit weak and injuries are going to hang over us like a cloud. Gotta watch Boston with Harford though

        • Knickfan4life

          If you are a knickfan go on yt and look at Tim Frazier if they can somehow get him on the cheap I think we make it to the eastern conference finals. That guy can flat out play and give rose knees rest.

        • Brandon Allen

          Picked up Brandon Jennings too. Knicks has a solid off season.

          • I’m not in love with the moves, but I’m very much in like. They’ll be a 50 win team, and we’ll see what happens from there.

      • QueLoQue

        They won free agency by getting Kevin Durant. That’s it. The Knicks would have done exceptional if this was five years ago, though I do think they will be much better.

        The fan in me is disappointed by the lack of parity in the league as a result of the free agent signing, but I can’t blame the guy for moving to a better team in a better city (what young Black millionaire wants to spend his prime in Oklahoma?).

        I also think it remains to be seen just how much better the Warriors will be next season. While they have a ton of scorers, there’s still only one ball on the court at a time, and they may sacrifice defensive competency as a result of the trade, plus chemistry issues, etc. The big question is what moves are the Cavs going to make to try to keep up.

        • Knickfan4life

          They got Durant but I think we all need to pump our brakes and see how this is going to work.

        • The scary thing is they might be a better regular season team. The problem is playoff matchups. If you can somehow score with them in a 7 game series, they’re a beatable team, as the Cavs demonstrated last month.

      • Mortal Man

        They also got Rose, an injury prone player.

    • no cheat code, they play unselfishly, and im hoping they dominate for YEARS to come ..we had to endure bandwagon L.A. fans for years its our turn. DUBB NATION! Golden DAWN!!

    • Val

      I’d like to respond to this but I’m in football mode now. I’ll ponder all of this NBA stuff in October.

    • It also helps when your best player is has only the 4th highest salary. I understand the circumstances under which he signed his current deal, but he got beat handily, and I’m not sure that can be replaced by any team with a prime age star.

    • Knicks can’t do anything with Carmelo on the roster.

    • Jennifer

      There’s no guarantee it will work. We’ve seen this experiment before. Chemistry is everything. Karl Malone and Gary Payton joining the Lakers in the early-aughts was a disaster. Clyde Drexler joining the Rockets the season after they won a championship was a good move (Clutch City, y’all!) — but it didn’t work when Charles Barkley joined the next season.

      • Mortal Man

        I don’t see the Golden State front office making this type of mistake thought. From what I’ve read on ESPN and Sportscenter, Dub Nation’s been making overtures to Durant for a long time and feel he would integrate well into their machine.

  • E_Deshon

    Exactly!!!! These players have limited time in their careers. It is wise for them to place themselves in positions to maximize their legacy, brand & net worth. Folks really think these athletes owe them. Get your money KD and welcome to the Dubbs!!!

    • Chazz A

      Agreed. KD is 27/28? He’s at the gateway of middle age in NBA player yrs.
      Although I’m surprised, I still believe it’s a good business decision.


        Not to mention that he has made OKC a great team. He played in OKC throughout his career and he should feel no shame in his own decision.

        • Chazz A


        • UdonNo

          He should be embarrassed. Curry can savor in the knowledge that he can and HAS beat KD. That makes KD his bitch for life. And now he is the 2nd or 3rd best player on a team lol.

          • Brad G

            Your big brother isn’t gonna be happy you logged into his account to troll across message boards. Go to bed.

      • UdonNo

        So KD was broke being on the Thunder??? really you think this is about business?/

  • Raven

    And there you have it…thanks for this.

  • Ess Tee

    I’m mad at Stephen A. because his big mouth last year probably made it so that KD was never gonna go to the Lakers.

    PS. Save any and all ridicule. I bleed purple and gold, OK. IDC IDC IDC.

    • I love it. Laker era has been over since Dwight Howard … Golden State is a new era and they did it right from the start ..the Draft and some unexpected gems who had injury problems or decided to come off the bench – they are unselfish, drama free and play a super exciting brand of basketball .. Nike isn’t the main sponsor, and ads needed play which was highly likely the reason the refs extended that to a 7 game series , but i digress…

  • cyanic
    • HouseOfBonnets

      I cackle

    • PriceIsRightHorns

      LMAO! Fam…

    • Damn, Damn, DAMN! *cues Spottie Ottie horns*

      • Melaniemschmitt


  • Jocelyn

    Every time Stephen A. opens his mouth, my teeth start to itch. He is frequently loud and wrong.

    • Lmao



    • UdonNo

      But this time he is spot on RIGHT.

  • HouseOfBonnets

    When the Bulls front office refuses to be great and you don’t have a dog in this fight so you decide to be a petty observer for the 2016 – 2017 season …

    • StillSuga

      Why do they treat us so? I’m starting to feel like we’re back in the Jerry Krause-front office era, smh..

      • HouseOfBonnets

        Chicago sports teams have always been this way I blame bad management and impatience.I gave up on the bears when they just gave Forte away last season.

  • Amen

    Nah. Bc if Stephen A could have made the same money at the Philadelphia Inquirer with the same exact exposure, he may have stayed. He’s talking about the competition aspect of sports, so you can’t make a compensation argument to counter that. It is a weak move. You were up 3-1 on these guys and laughing at them in a press conference. Then you go join that team once they beat you in historical fashion? I’m sorry, that’s a weak move. Only way it’s not a weak move is if he knows Russ is leaving.

    • Damon Young

      It’s not a compensation argument. Ultimately, both men were in good positions, and made the decision to go somewhere they both believed was better for them. I too was surprised by Durant’s move. And the fan in me would have preferred he stayed in OKC. But taking the fandom out of it, I can’t fault a guy for doing what he believes is best for him. And I definitely wouldn’t do it — and use my giant platform to basically call him a b*tch — if I did the same thing in my career.

      • Amen
        …but it’s kind of a b*tch move right? Just because someone said it on TV doesn’t mean we can’t treat these guys like human beings? It’s a b*tch move in a rec league, and it’s a b*tch move in the pros. You were in competition with this other team, and were beating them so handily that you felt comfortable enough to laugh at them. Then they come back and beat you….and then 2 months later you join their team. It’s your life and you can do what you want. But you get clowned for that. Bc you feel you can’t win unless you join the team that beat you, even though you were one half of basketball away from beating them. Multiple times. That’s a weak move. Not saying you’re doomed to be a wack dude for the rest of your life. But that right there is weak.

        • T.Q. Fuego

          Couldn’t have said it better. He would’ve lost all respect at the park or in a rec league for doin this, but somehow we’re supposed to not clown him for it because money’s involved? I don’t get it. This isn’t rocket science. He chomped out much worse than Lebron.

          • Word. And dumb as Lebron’s move was (doing the TV special, teaming up with his friends), at least he could say that management wasn’t helping him. How Danny Ferry got a job in another NBA front office after the debacle that was Lebron’s first Cleveland run is a walking example of White Privilege in sports. Kevin Durant not only wasn’t in the same situation, but the front office was actually patching whatever flaws there were with the team.

      • So your argument is that you don’t mess with Stephen A Smith. That’s fine, but it’s an odd way to go about calling him out in my opinion. Your site, your rules though.

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