Thunder: Kevin Durant, LeBron James criticized by ESPN panel

Stephen A. Smith offers to set up studio appearance, tells Durant to ‘stand up and show up'
BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Published: December 1, 2011
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Thunder forward Kevin Durant could soon visit the debate desk on the controversial show ESPN First Take.

Durant wrote on his Twitter account Thursday that he is just waiting for an invitation.

The topic came up after the show's panelists, Skip Bayless, Rob Parker, former NFL defensive end Hugh Douglas and host Jay Crawford, debated Wednesday night's flag football game between Durant and Miami Heat star LeBron James.

Durant took exception to their criticism, specifically Douglas' and fired back at the former Philadelphia Eagles Pro Bowler.

“These guys on first n take kill me, lol smh especially hugh Douglas, who is the dude? I thought that was emmit smith on tv just now,” Durant wrote.

Durant has since deleted the message, as well as a series of subsequent related tweets after ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith got involved.

“My man, nobody's stopping you from showing up. The platform is yours if you want it. Why tweet when you can stand up and show up,” Smith responded.

Durant replied that he wasn't “ducking” anyone and would travel to the Bristol, Conn., studio to appear on the show if invited. Smith then wrote, “Assuming this is really Kevin Durant, tell me who you want to debate (and) what day? I'll personally set it up.”

Durant and James are friends and had organized the game, which was played in James' hometown of Akron, Ohio, after Durant made headlines for joining a game between Oklahoma State students on Halloween. James' team won 70-63, but Douglas and Bayless took exception with the two stars horsing around rather than preparing for the NBA season.

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