SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 04: SiriusXM host Stephen A. Smith attends SiriusXM at Super Bowl 50 Radio Row at the Moscone Center on February 4, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Stephen A. Smith calls out “bandwagon” NBA champion: “If he even tries to deny it, he is beyond ignorant”


Kevin Durant has created some buzz recently with the release of his new sneakers, the Nike KD 10's.

They're slick shoes, but what has people talking is not the design of the shoe itself, but what's underneath the shoe on the insoles. On both feet, there are words that Durant has been called over the course of his career, or phrases that have been used when speaking about him.

Some of those words and phrases include:

Weak. Follower. Superteam. Undeserving. Bandwagon. Traitor. Cheater.


The kicker to the shoes and the point behind them is that in bright yellow, Durant has written over those words with some reality of his own. The numbers "16-1" and the phrase "2017 Champs" can be found written over the comments on one foot. On the other? Durant's stat lines from each game in the 2017 NBA Finals. At the heel of that shoe, it says "Finals Most Valuable Player."

It's a pretty cool design and the symbolism in it is strong. Durant has taken what others have said about him and written his own story. His own truth.

For the most part, it's pretty cool. Of course, though, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith had to interject his own hot take into the matter. He believes that one of the derogatory or negative terms should still apply to Durant: Bandwagon.

Here's what he said on ESPN's First Take:


"There is no doubt that that's exactly what he is. That's exactly what he jumped on -- the bandwagon. If he even tries to deny it, he is a new fool. He is beyond ignorant."

That's a strong statement from Stephen A. -- a hot take if you will -- but he didn't back down there. He went on to admit that Durant is one of the best basketball players in the world, perhaps only looking up to LeBron James in that category, but the ESPN personality didn't like the way he left Oklahoma City.

"There is no denying that he is a bandwagon jumper. He left the team that was in Game 7 of a Western Conference Finals. They were up 3-1 and not only did he leave that team, he [left] the team to join the team that beat them, not even a month later."

Durant left a good team in Oklahoma City and joined a no-doubt superstar team in Golden State. Stephen A. brought up the fact that he joined an already terrific backcourt with Steph Curry and the Warriors, and while Durant was in his rights to do that and Stephen A. said he promised Durant's mom that he would be nice to her son, he didn't back away from his bandwagon take.

"Here's the bottom line. He did jump on the bandwagon. That is a fact. It can not be circumvented around, and that is that," he said.