OKLAHOMA CITY -- Thunder star Kevin Durant said Friday that a comment from ESPN's Stephen A. Smith indicating the star forward would consider Los Angeles his "primary objective" if he didn't re-sign in Oklahoma City next summer isn't true.
"I don't talk to Stephen A. Smith at all," Durant told reporters. "Nobody in my family, my friends -- they don't talk to Stephen A Smith. So he's lying."
On First Take on Tuesday, Smith said, "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."
Durant, an unrestricted free agent next summer, had previously warned reporters at USA Basketball minicamp in August not to put stock in anonymous reporting, and he reiterated that on Friday.
"If you ask me a question, I'll talk about them," Durant said. "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."
Smith responded to Durant via Twitter after the former MVP's comments.
"At NO time did I ever say I SPOKE to K.D. Or his family. Or his brother, friends, teammates, etc. (although I can assure you all I have on several occasions in the past)," Smith wrote. "I said I HEARD from folks I know -- in a league I've been covering for 19 years -- that if he were to leave OKC as a free agent, these are the cities I was told he was considering. OKC. LA. Miami. DC. NY. I stand by it all. And that is that. His assertion that I was lying is not only FALSE, but totally uncalled for. Especially from a player who receives nothing but praise not only from me, but from practically every media member you can find.
"Yet, for some reason, we're all the same folks who don't know *&%$ about the game of basketball. Whose thoughts he could give a &^%$ about. Essentially, individuals he wishes he'd never have to talk to.....that he's being forced to tolerate.....as if someone has done something to him.....OF ALL PEOPLE!
"Don't know what has happened to Mr. Durant over the years. But I know this much: We all win with his return, because he is an absolute superstar. The NBA is better with him. We're all at a loss without him.
"It just appears that @KDTrey5 needs to learn something about today's world in professional sports: We don't have to talk TO HIM to talk ABOUT HIM! Folks like ME will still be here. Watching! Listening! Waiting! Reporting! Whether he likes it or not. While he's here and long after he's gone. Time to get use to it."