When Kevin Durant made the decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors last summer, he was instantly ridiculed for joining a team that he had just lost to in the Western Conference Finals. This criticism continued to dog Durant throughout the season and was still going strong at the ESPYs on Wednesday when retired NFL star and the event’s host, Peyton Manning, took a jab at the Warriors All-Star for deciding to head to Golden State.
During his opening monologue, Manning directed a joke right at the Warriors All-Star, saying “Our gymnastics team was so dominant that Kevin Durant told me he wants to play for them next year.”
Manning had a big ole grin on his face while delivering the joke that his monologue writers definitely wrote. Durant, on the other hand, had the completely opposite reaction and responded by starring daggers at Manning while looking very unimpressed with the former Broncos star’s joke-telling skills.
Manning did make a reference to Russell Westbrook as well, and he had a similar reaction to KD. Durant’s mom at least enjoyed the joke as you can see her heartily laughing while sitting next to her son.
The joke itself is an easy one, and it did elicit chuckles from the crowd, so it did serve its purpose. But it also shows that even though Durant played a starring role in Golden State’s 2017 championship run, he is just going to have to continue to tune out the naysayers and rise above the constant flow of criticism for the foreseeable future.