WASHINGTON — Peyton Manning is hosting the ESPY’s this year. It’s going OK so far, and he, as expected, came prepared with plenty of material. As he even joked himself, he’s never going to be short on preparation.
But even those who work hard ahead of the event can still endure awkward situations during the moment(s) of truth.
To be fair, it doesn’t appear to be an especially awkward moment for anybody except for Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and even in the latter’s case, it doesn’t seem especially uncomfortable.
Durant likely assumed the jokes about his leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder in order to join the Golden State Warriors were just about finished once a) he won a title with those Warriors and b) he helped sell Paul George on Oklahoma City.
If he did believe that, he was evidently mistaken.
Once the ESPY’s have wrapped up, there aren’t many natural opportunities for this joke to replay itself. It’s now been more than 370 days since Durant made his famous/infamous decision, so it seems well past due for this storyline to fade away, but here we are.
Then again, when else has Peyton Manning had a chance to take his shot at Durant? And Manning took plenty of digs himself throughout the presentation, including a skit in which he entered into a retirement home. (Get it? He’s retired from a pro sport, where the average retirement age is in the 30s, but most retired folks are considerably older.)
Yes, these truly are the slowest days in American sports.