Earlier this week, ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith went on "First Take" and discussed the impending free agency of Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant, one of the biggest stories in the NBA world and one that's sure to dominate future-focused chatter over the next nine months:
On ESPN’s “First Take” Tuesday morning, Stephen A. Smith said that sources have told him [Kevin] Durant’s preferred landing spot is the Los Angeles Lakers if he does not re-sign with the [Oklahoma City] Thunder next summer.
“Regardless of how senseless it may (sound), in one breath I’m hearing that if Kevin Durant doesn’t stay in Oklahoma City, L.A. is his primary objective and landing spot as opposed to South Beach or even his home of Washington, D.C.,” Smith said.
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Evidently, it sounded a little off to Durant himself, who used wholly unambiguous language in refuting Smith's report to Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman:
There was the first of these unnamed sourced free agency reports that we're expecting to come out throughout the season. The whole Lakers thing that Stephen A Smith came out with, do you have any response to that?
Durant: "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."
What's the best way to attack those because I know you're not naive to think these won't be popping up throughout the year?
Durant: "If you ask me a question, I'll talk about them. But like I said before, I have people who I talk to about everything and I know for a fact they didn't talk to him, so he's making up stories."
What is the most frustrating aspect of media (and social media) coverage of the NBA? [...]
Kevin Durant: Uh, just, I think we should … you know what, I'm not even going to answer that. I'm not gonna answer that one. Along with Matty Ice [Thunder PR man Matt Tumbleson], I've got two people that I trust with my life, my agent and my manager, who's my best friend as well. I trust them with my life. So if you hear sources or anything, don't believe it if it didn't come from them. I tell them everything. We bounce ideas off each other. We collaborate on a lot of different things. They give me advice. so throughout this year, if you hear sources from anybody, it's not true, unless you hear it from Charlie Bell, Rich Kleiman or Kevin Durant.
We eagerly await Smith's rebuttal, which we are sure will be delivered in a calm fashion and at a reasonable volume. (UPDATE: Here it is.)
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