Sunday, February 5 2023

Kevin Durant stays. Baker Mayfield starts. 

What do Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant and Carolina Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield have in common? Since news broke that Durant and the Nets will not part ways, and Baker will be the Week 1 starter for the Panthers over Sam Darnold, Skip Bayless drew a major comparison between the two polarizing athletes.

On this week’s episode of “The Skip Bayless Show,” Bayless asserted that Durant and Mayfield have one big commonality: They both just got all-time humbled by their respective leagues.

“As much as I love me some KD and Baker as players, I find both of them hard to like off the court and off the field. KD is the thinnest-skinned superstar I’ve ever closely observed. Baker became insufferably full of himself before he’d really proven anything.”

The Nets’ two-month impasse with Durant ended this week with the superstar folding his hand and withdrawing his trade request, a move that Bayless thinks made Durant look like less of a superstar than he really is. 

“Nets owner Joe Tsai made Kevin Durant look foolish,” Bayless said. “He just stood up to 7-foot-tall Kevin Durant and told him, ‘No, sorry, you’re not going to ultimatum your way out of Brooklyn. I’m going to hold your feet to this fire. I’m not going to fire Sean Marks or Steve Nash. You, Kyrie [Irving] and Ben Simmons are going to win a championship for the Brooklyn Nets.'”

Similarly, Bayless said that Mayfield got his comeuppance by way of Deshaun Watson hitting the open market.

“Reportedly, the Browns wanted an ‘adult’ at quarterback,” Bayless said. “They didn’t think Baker Mayfield qualified, so they plunged on Deshaun and Baker’s pride took a plunge into the depths of humility.”

Yet this newfound humility shared between the two athletes is the exact reason Durant and Mayfield are both primed to have their career-best seasons, Bayless asserted.  

After Durant failed to lead the Nets to a single playoff win this past postseason — shooting just 39.4% from the floor in a first-round series sweep by the Celtics — doubt swirled about his ability to carry a team in his post-Golden State era. But Bayless believes the Nets’ refusal to concede to Durant will set him up for a major comeback this season.

“Kevin Durant is becoming an adult,” he said. “He was subconsciously looking for somebody to stand up to him. Joe Tsai did that. I think Kevin Durant is poised for a monster year. This team should be favored to win it all.”

For Mayfield, after the former No. 1 overall pick ended Cleveland’s 26-year playoff victory drought, he struggled to an 8-9 record last season with 17 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions, all while nursing a torn labrum on his non-throwing shoulder.

Mayfield admitted he felt “disrespected” when his time in Cleveland came to an end after the Browns traded for Watson, and Bayless believes a fresh start in Carolina will put the chip back onto the shoulder of the former Texas Tech walk-on.

“Baker is back to being a hopeless underdog in Carolina,” Bayless said. “I love it. I love this team’s chances. I believe the Carolina Panthers are destined to make the playoffs this year because Baker Mayfield is back to doing what he does best: shocking the world. The Panthers have a humbled adult at quarterback.”

Mayfield’s potential redemption season begins Week 1 in Carolina against his former Browns team, a game he admits has added personal meaning for him. Meanwhile, Durant and the Nets avoiding a breakup means his title chase without Steph Curry & Co. will continue this fall in Brooklyn.

Get more from National Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more.

in this topic

Source: FOX Sports


Nets unveil iconic ‘Stars and Stripes’ Classic Edition uniforms


Lakers looking for upgrades, no ‘concerted effort’ to trade Russell Westbrook

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

‘We’re not leaving’: How Wendell Smith, Sam Lacy and Black press pushed to integrate MLB during 1930s and 1940s

In February for Black History Month, USA TODAY Sports is publishing the series “28 Black Stories in 28 Days.” We examine the issues, challenges and opportunities Black athletes and sports officials continue to face after the nation’s reckoning on race following the murder of George Floyd in 2020. This is the third installment of the series. […]

Read More

Chris Duarte injury update: Pacers guard out 4-6 weeks with ankle sprain, per report

Getty Images The Indiana Pacers will be without second-year guard Chris Duarte for 4-6 weeks as he recovers from a Grade 2 left ankle sprain, per ESPN. The injury occurred during Indiana’s Friday night game against the Miami Heat, where Duarte tweaked his ankle midway through the first quarter. As Duarte jumped to try and […]

Read More

Kevin Durant may skip Nets training camp if not traded | FIRST THINGS FIRST

In this ‘Ripped from the Headlines’ segment, Nick Wright and Kevin Wildes discuss the possibility that Kevin Durant may holdout from the Brooklyn Nets training camp is he’s not traded from the team. 21 MINUTES AGO・First Things First・3:24 Source: FOX Sports

Read More