(Audacy) FS1 host Nick Wright had just finished eating Chipotle and was preparing to take a nap Tuesday when he got a text message.
It was someone letting him know that Nets star Kevin Durant was going after him.
Here’s the backstory: Wright, a talking head on “First Things First” on FS1, has a bit that likens being an NBA superstar to getting into a nightclub: There’s a fixed number (in this case, 12) allowed in, and if you’re letting someone in, someone else has to go out. During his show Tuesday, Wright was asked why Nets guard Kyrie Irving wasn’t in the club, and in criticizing Irving, Wright joked that Durant was texting Irving from the club telling him it was lame anyways.
That got back to Durant, and so started the chirping.
Appearing on the Parkins and Spiegel Show on 670 The Score later Tuesday afternoon, Wright offered his side of the saga.
"I can’t tell if KD wants to punch me or kiss me,” Wright first joked. “The millions of dollars may or may not be accurate, but the idea that I am a public figure and if you want to rip me for something I do in my professional capacity it’s totally fair. I think KD thought, ‘See? Now that you’re getting what we get, how do you like it?' And my answer is just fine. It’s annoying, I understand that part of it, like I did want to take a nap.
"Part of my job, and to a greater extent, obviously, part of Durant's job and one of the reason it pays well and part of your guys’ job is you open yourself up to public ridicule, and you can’t whine about it as a grown-up, in my opinion."
Wright was asked if dealing with the toxicity of social media and getting called out by someone like Durant makes him have more empathy for professional athletes.
The short answer: no.
“If you have a big boy job with a big boy salary, there has to be some negative," Wright said. "Nobody gets it all, and one of the few negatives for my job is I am out there every single day for people to ridicule. It’s actually one of the similarities with my job and Durant’s job. It’s one of the only negatives, and if you spend your time bitching and whining or arguing with the – (Durant has) 20 million followers, any moment of any day you can find 150 that are calling you an a-hole. Spending your time on that is, to me, immature. And if it’s not immature, it’s at the very least unhealthy, so no I don’t have more empathy. I think that people need to grow up."
Feuds like this tend to be a regular occurrence for Wright. Clearly, he’s accepted the fact that it’s just part of the gig.