Damn. Peyton Manning kicked off the 2017 ESPY Awards with a savage burn on Kevin Durant. Judging by the Golden State Warriors star’s face, KD did not think the NFL Icon’s joke was funny at all.
Is it hard to imagine that it’s been over a year since Peyton Manning, 41, stepped away from football? It seems like he never left, as the former Denver Broncos re-entered the spotlight by hosting the 2017 ESPY Awards. While kicking off the July 12 event at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game proved that he still has some bite left into him. During his monologue, Peyton said he was absolutely amazed at how the Final Five — Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, Madison Kocian and Aly Raisman – won so many medals during the Rio 2016 Olympics. They were “so dominant, Kevin Durant is going to join them.”
Cut to KD’s face and he was not laughing at Peyton’s joke. Peyton cracked a joke how he didn’t think KD would “start” on that team, before asking what his former teammate, Russell Westbrook, thought about that. Russell seemed even more displeased with the joke, as these NBA stars’ faces were stone cold. Daaaaaamn. While the rest of the audience was laughing along with that sick burn, seems Russ and KD weren’t feeling it.
Kevin Durant was not feeling this Peyton Manning joke at all. 😂 #ESPYS
— NBA SKITS (@NBA_Skits) July 13, 2017
After that opening, it’s no wonder why the 2-time Super Bowl champion was picked to steer this year’s ceremony. “It’s an honor to be asked to host the ESPYS, and it’s even more meaningful that it’s the 25th year for this incredible event,” Peyton said in a statement after he was announced as the 2017 emcee, per ESPN. “The ESPYS have been a part of my life during my entire career. I can still remember attending my very first show back in 1998 before my rookie season in the NFL.”
Peyton walked away with the 1998 ESPY for Best College Football Player. It was his first and it certainly wasn’t his last, as he won the Best NFL Player three times, the Best Record-Breaking Performance three times, and once for Best Championship Performance. After his football career came to a close, the ESPYs made sure to honor him one last time by awarding him the Icon Award in 2016.
“Sports would be nothing without the fans,” he said when accepting the award alongside his fellow Icons, Abby Wambach, 37, and Kobe Bryant, 38. The quarterback some continue to be the best of all time held back tears while talking about his love of the game. “The Super Bowl wouldn’t mean anything, the World Cup wouldn’t mean anything, the NBA Finals wouldn’t mean anything without the fans. I’m looking forward to having a great time being a fan again.” And after that opening, Peyton probably can’t count on KD and Russ being fans of him.
What do you think about Peyton’s opening bit, HollywoodLifers? Do you think he was the right choice to host the 2017 ESPY Awards?