Kevin Durant is a Brooklyn Net and no transcontinental flight can change that, even if every Knicks fan in the world hopes it could be undone. Among those on that list is ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who on Monday continued to grieve the free agency failures of Manhattan’s basketball team.
Smith appeared on The Jump on Sunday and was furious the Knicks revealed they didn’t offer a max contract to Kevin Durant, which presumably meant they didn’t even get a meeting with the free agent who was holding said meetings in New York. There was an extended segment of grief, including an Instagram video that was equal parts hilarious and heartbreaking. And if you need the full appearance on The Jump, you can also watch that below.
But duty calls, and Monday morning meant a long day of First Take and, yes, Knicks talk. Smith tried joking his way through the pain, sharing a meme that declared he himself was signing with the Knicks.
But seeing your favorite team continue to fail again and again takes a toll, and as he prepared for work on First Take on Monday, Smith still needed some support.
What’s hilarious is that clip was actually the real intro First Take used to start the show on Monday. And, well, we’ve all seen that look before.
The show did have to go on, however, and when it did Smith’s brooding was on full display. Gone was much of the anger that came with his appearance on The Jump on Sunday, or the video he posted online shortly before that. Smith called it “devastating” despite the later free agent signings the team made.
“This is a devastating day,” Smith said. “As bad as the Knicks have been and as disgusted as I have been with them this is the first day — and mind you they got better because Julius Randle is a decent player and Bobby Portis and whatever — but what I’m saying is because the stars went to Brooklyn, to me it’s over. It’s over.”
This was a man in mourning, facing an uncertain future for himself and his family.
“I’ve lost so much faith in them I don’t even want to walk past Madison Square Garden,” Smith said.
First Take certainly did play up his angst, though, even editing some videos to poke some fun at the poor Knicks fan on the payroll.
But don’t worry: Smith did have some of his vintage bravado with a stirring monologue about the Knicks signing Julius Randle to a $21 million per year deal while all the big free agents went elsewhere. Even Richard Jefferson can’t keep it together as Stephen A. goes full meltdown.
Smith saying “NOT TODAY!” over and over again immediately goes into the catalog of his all-time great moments. What’s perhaps the most amazing of all is that Smith may have saved his best work for his radio show, where he admitted that he had both cried and thrown up over the Knicks and nothing has made him feel better.
“I’m serious. I’m not joking. I have both cried and I have thrown up,” Smith said. “And guess what: the bile and toxic stuff inside of my body, .” IT’S STILL THERE.”
The Knicks may be torturing their fans and driving Stephen A insane, but it does make for tremendous content.