Sports | June 25, 2021 10:50 am

There Are No Winners in the Scottie Pippen-Kevin Durant Beef

Michael Rapaport being involved with anything is a telltale sign that the conversation is probably not going well

scottie pippen and kevin durant engage in twitter beef over comparisons to michael jordan
Kevin Durant has once again taken to Twitter to joust with one of his critics
Carlos Tischler/Taylor Hill/Getty

On the heels of Kevin Durant averaging 35.5 points and 10.6 rebounds against the Bucks in a seven-game playoff series that ended his season, the 32-year-old was called “more gifted” than Michael Jordan by his former coach Steve Kerr (also a former teammate of His Airness, obviously).

For most, a compliment like that would be enough to help them mentally fend off the slings and arrows of pundits and Twitter trolls across the sports-media landscape. But not Kevin Durant. Largely in a class all his own on the basketball court, Durant is equally peerless in his ability to react to perceived slights — not in real life (he has a bodyguard for that), but on the internet.

Seven-time All-Star Scottie Pippen, who was a superstar in his own right but unquestionably did ride Jordan’s coattails to six championships with the Bulls, tore into Durant while promoting his new bourbon and memoir during an interview with GQ yesterday.

“KD can score better than LeBron, probably always have been able to,” Pippen said. “But has he surpassed LeBron? Naw. He tried to beat the Milwaukee Bucks instead of utilizing his team. You see what I’m saying? LeBron James would’ve figured out how to beat them and he wouldn’t have been exhausted and he may not have taken the last shot. But LeBron ain’t KD, and KD ain’t LeBron. KD is a shooter, a scorer. But he doesn’t have what LeBron has.”

Being the Twitter addict that he is, Durant fired back at Pippen about some of the lowlights of his career when someone alerted him to the 55-year-old’s interview.

Lame as that exchange was, it led to an ESPN story containing the line, “It’s never a good day to be on the receiving end of a KD Twitter mention.”

Fair enough, but that ignores the fact that the majority of people don’t give two shits about Twitter, let alone who is on the receiving end of a mercurial athlete’s irate mentions.

Making things worse was the arrival of Michael Rapaport — who exposed a number of homophobic and hateful messages from Durant earlier this year to help promote his podcast, prompting one of the most insincere apologies of the year — into the Pippen-Durant beef.

Forcing himself into the situation like a hemorrhoid no one asked for, Rapaport unsurprisingly backed Pippen.

Ugh.

“Anybody that’s crucifying me for some [expletive] that I said behind closed doors,” Durant recently told The New York Times as part of a recent puff piece that glossed over his hateful comments to Rapaport. “I would definitely love to see y’all phones.”

Instead of looking at the phones of others, Durant would be wise, as ever, to put his down. If he’s better than Rapaport or Pippen — much less Michael Jordan — he should start to act like it.