Stephen A. Smith Responds to Kevin Durant Criticism: 'You Don't Get to Get Rid of Us'

Erin WalshJune 3, 2022

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - MARCH 23: ESPN Stephen A. Smith before the game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Brooklyn Nets at FedExForum on March 23, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that , by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
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ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith has heard enough from Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant.

During Friday's episode of First Take, Smith responded to Durant's criticism of himself and other sports media personalities, such as Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe, letting the two-time NBA champion know they are here to stay.

"Fellas need to get over it because as I said yesterday on Twitter, and I'll say again on national television: The Stephen A. Smiths of the world are not going anywhere," Smith said. "I'm here now. There'll be hundreds if not thousands that will follow."

Smith added: "You don't get to get rid of us. We're here, and we're going to be here. Get over it, because we're not going anywhere."

Stephen A Smith @stephenasmith

Let me tell y’all something once and for all. <a href="https://t.co/3BJcJcFvsZ">pic.twitter.com/3BJcJcFvsZ</a>

Durant and Smith's feud began when the Nets veteran responded to a clip from the First Take Twitter account that showed Smith positing a rather controversial take—which, we remind you, is part of his job. Smith was arguing that Michael Jordan changed the NBA for the worse while Stephen Curry has made it better.

Durant responded to the clip saying people like Smith have "changed the game for the worse."

Kevin Durant @KDTrey5

My theory is that guys like steve, skip and Shannon have changed the game for the worse. Playas like Stephen and Michael can only push the game forward. <a href="https://t.co/0Oc9J2HqxS">https://t.co/0Oc9J2HqxS</a>

Smith responded on Twitter by saying he isn't going anywhere, which he reiterated Friday. Durant then responded to that by posting a video clip of Smith saying, "We don't care."

Kevin Durant @KDTrey5

<a href="https://t.co/KJbShVUZ6D">https://t.co/KJbShVUZ6D</a> <a href="https://t.co/9VcI7ScR03">pic.twitter.com/9VcI7ScR03</a>

We'll see how Durant responds to Smith's latest comments, though it seems that both sides have made their opinions abundantly clear.