When Skip Bayless speaks, people listen. Not because he boasts of insight or authority, but because his opinions are often enough to evoke a gut reaction.
As Kevin Durant demonstrated Tuesday, that can be the case even when the Fox Sports 1 commentator is praising the players. The “Undisputed” host was effusive in his admiration for Durant on Twitter after the latter led an unmanned Nets team to a 131-129 overtime victory over the Nets.
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Brooklyn, down seven players due to COVID-19, relied heavily on Durant’s 34 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in the win. But Bayless used his praise for Durant as an opportunity to shoot the Lakers’ LeBron James. Los Angeles, in the midst of a two-game winning streak, did not play Tuesday.
It’s unclear if Bayless’s shot at James was what prompted a response from the Nets superstar, but the latter certainly didn’t like the tweet:
I really don’t like you https://t.co/CdTs4ZReko
– Kevin Durant (@ KDTrey5) December 15, 2021
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Bayless was not deterred by Durant’s reaction, which was doubled with more praise in a tweet an hour later:
Steve Nash just said that losing the right was an option tonight because they wouldn’t have enough bodies. Kevin Durant was doubtful because of a bad ankle. But KD insisted on playing, playing 48 minutes (sometimes with 4 rookies) and the Nets won in overtime. Best record in East by 2.5 games! KD MVP !!!
– Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) December 15, 2021
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This isn’t the first time Durant and Bayless have clashed, with the former reportedly asking a reporter in 2016 to ask him a question about the then-ESPN host just so he could get the first hit at a post-game press conference. .
Needless to say, Durant’s reaction to Bayless’s praise on Tuesday didn’t come out of nowhere.