There are just a few weeks remaining in 2019, and you know what that means?
Itâs time to pull out all the stops on definitive lists and rankings of the year that was.
We are going to take a look back at some of the best NBA and NFL feuds that stood the test of time this year and created the biggest baller âbeefsâ of 2019.
Who won? Who lost? Weâll declare an overall âwinnerâ and holder of the 2019 Social Media Smackdown Championship Belt for âBest Social Media Sports Feud.â
Thatâs a long title. Weâll continue to workshop that.
In any event, letâs take a look at some of the best feuds from this year.
âDRAYMOND GREEN VS. TONY DURANT
Yes. Tony Durant, brother of Drayâs former teammate Kevin Durant.
âLetâs start at the beginning.
âThis feud goes back to 2018 when KD and Dray had that infamous âblow upâ in Los Angeles during a game. Here is a look back, video courtesy of NBC Sports Bay Area.
âImmediately following the incident, Tony took to Instagram Stories to share his thoughts on Dray.
KD has since left the Warriors via free agency in July and is now a member of the Brooklyn Nets.
But this summer Tony posted a picture on Instagram of his mother, and KD holding Tonyâs newborn child.
Dray, never one to let anything slide, had to hop in the comments and say something.
âHe did congratulate Tony, sort of...
Dray plays the game with an edge and lives his truth by always saying whatâs on his mind.
For better and for worse.
Any slight or perceived insult is fuel and motivation for him. Heâs not unlike many other athletes in that way.
It also is hard for him to let things go. So he couldnât resist a parting shot at Tony.
Winner: Draymond Green, for sheer pettiness if nothing else.
âKEVIN DURANT VS. CHRIS BROUSSARD
This one could literally be KD vs. just about anybody on social media.
The seven foot basketball genius loves to clapback on any and all social media platforms.
Earlier this year, while KD was still a member of the Warriors and got injured in the Western Conference semifinals against the Rockets, Fox Sportsâ Chris Broussard was on television saying if the Warriors win without KD it would be Durantâs âworst nightmare.â
âKD responded in kind and it set off a firestorm. Fans and media alike were reacting to KDâs reaction.
Broussard continued to assert his claim and KD refuted him again.
âBroussard doubled down hard.
âKD was asked by Warriors beat reporter, Connor Letourneau, why he responds to critics on social media.
Another classic case of he said, he said.
KD is undeniably one of the greatest basketball players of all-time. Two-time champ, two-time Finals MVP. 10-time All-Star, nine-time All-NBA, and a league MVP.
It bothers some people that a person of his stature and accomplishment chooses to engage in social media beef. For that reason alone, people would easily give him an âLâ on any social media interaction.
Weâre going a different route.
Winner: Everyone. These interactions provide content and fodder for posts, podcasts, and tv show segments. This is entertainment. Are you not entertained?!
BAKER MAYFIELD VS. TONY GROSSI
The Cleveland Browns quarterback does not like the ESPN Browns beat reporter and local on-air host.
Their beef goes back to information Grossi wrote about Mayfieldâs âdemandsâ when visiting the Browns prior to the 2018 NFL Draft, according to ProFootballTalk.
âGrossi and Mayfield have a history: Grossi reported before the 2018 NFL draft that Mayfield had demanded first-class airfare when making pre-draft visits and suggested that made Mayfield a prima donna, something people close to Mayfield took issue with. Grossi said today that Mayfieldâs issue with him stems from that.â
Their interactions since then have always been, curt.
In October, following a loss, things heated up between the two in Mayfieldâs postgame media availability.
â*Video courtesy of cleveland.com
âAfter that exchange, Mayfield took to Twitter to vent more.
âI think it goes back to the pre-draft conversations we had, things I said, things I wrote. OK, fine, but you have to move along,â Grossi said. âI tried to talk to him twice, alone, but he just wants no part of that. If heâs not going to do that I have to do my job as best as I can.â
Mayfield, much like Draymond Green, plays with an edge and uses slights as motivation.
Draymond gets leeway because he has backed up his edge with success and accomplishments. Mayfield has yet to do so. Also of note, Draymond doesnât really spar with the media.
Grossi has rubbed more than one athlete the wrong way. But, that is part and parcel with the gig. No matter how much it might be wrong.
Going after a player for his performance is all fair game in media. Going after a player personally or being particularly critical because of personal issues is not.
Has Grossi been somewhat unfair? Yes. Has Mayfield been a little petulant and churlish? Yes.
âWinner: Push. Neither party looks good here.
âODELL BECKHAM JR. VS. THE NEW YORK GIANTS
The current Cleveland Browns wide receiver started his career with the Giants. In his five seasons in New York, OBJ had 390 receptions for 5,476 receiving yards, and 44 touchdowns. He made routine highlight plays and was the lone bright spot on a mediocre franchise.
But, the Giants thought he was too much of a âdistraction.â
In a sport that preaches and trumpets the virtues of conformity, OBJ was too much of an individual.
After extending his contract, 5-years/$96 million with $65 million in guarantees in 2018, the Giants traded him to the Browns this summer.
OBJ did a wide-ranging interview with GQ, after the trade.
"My initial reaction was not disappointmentâ¦ I felt disrespected," Beckham said about the moment he found out he was traded to the Browns -- adding that he didn't care what the Giants got back. "Like, after everything I've done for them. This is me being honest..."
The Giantsâ general manager, Dave Gettleman, was matter of fact in his response to the situation, stating that trading OBJ was in the teamâs best interest.
In his new home in Cleveland, OBJ is still being himself.
Heâs made spectacular catches. Heâs been fined for wearing âJokerâ inspired cleats. He rocked a $2 million Richard Mille watch on the field.
OBJâs numbers are down, but so are his targets. Thatâs something he canât control. The Browns coaching staff and quarterback need to figure out how to get their most dynamic player the ball more often.
The Browns are 5-6 and still âaliveâ in the playoff hunt. The Giants are 2-9 and headed towards a top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
âWinner: OBJ. Heâs exciting, fun, and a personality. Oh, and heâs pretty good at that football thing too!
âLEBRON JAMES VS. #WASHEDKING CRITICS
Bron is averaging 25 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds per game for the 14-2 Los Angeles Lakers.
âIn early November, after posting his third straight triple-double in a win, Bron took to social media to address his critics.
Funny thing about those âcritics.â Who are they?
If you do a cursory search you donât find anyone who says Bron is washed. What you will find are several NBA analysts and media people who ask the question, after 17 seasons in the NBA with a historic minutes load, will this be the year Bron slows down?
Thatâs a far cry from washed. Itâs also a reasonable question to ask.
How long can he keep this up?
The saying goes, father time is undefeated. Time eventually catches up to everyone, even the great ones.
But, for now, it seems as though Bron is keeping time at bay.
âWinner: Bron. If for no other reason than, we donât know who these critics are. A certain talking head on Fox doesnât count.
âHOUSTON ROCKETS VS. THE NBA
âThe Rockets and people affiliated with the team have a propensity to say things that annoy the NBA and fans of the league at large.
No, weâre not talking about the Hong Kong situation that was ignited by general manager Daryl Morey.
âFor example, the aforementioned Morey said that Rocketsâ MVP James Harden is âfactually a better scorer than Michael Jordan.â
After their gut wrenching loss in the Western Conference Finals to the Golden State Warriors in 2018, the Rockets sent a memo to the league, charting how the referees cost them the game, and the title.
During the 2019 playoffs, where they again lost to the Warriors, they used the same methodology to dispute a game 1 loss.
Both the Athletic and ESPN uncovered the news earlier this year.
Finally, in the ultimate display of pettiness, the Rocketsâ official Twitter account sent out a tweet ârespectfully disagreeingâ with the NBA naming Milwaukee Bucksâ forward Giannis Antetokounmpo as the league MVP in 2019.
In a series of, since deleted tweets, the Rockets highlight all of Hardenâs accomplishments as reasons he should have won.
Loser: The Rockets. Just poor form all around from a team that shouldnât have to resort to this level of shenanigans.
STEPH CURRY VS. THE MEDIA
The two-time league MVP is getting a reminder on what life is like at the bottom of the mountain.
For the better part of five seasons, the Warriors and Steph have been the toast of the NBA. Going to five consecutive Finals, and winning three titles.
They made few friends, and shimmied and gloated as they dominated the competition. Rightfully so.
The KD and Steph 2017 Warriors might be the greatest team of all time. But nothing lasts forever.
KD is gone, Steph is hurt and out indefinitely and the Warriors are the worst team in the NBA.
Yes, they are worse than the Knicks.
Before Steph got injured and the Warriors won their first game of the season, Steph had a message for those piling on the Warriors.
"Everybody loves to label you when you're down or when you're losing," Curry said to ESPN. "That's easy. It's easy to get on TV and say whatever you want. It's easy to just throw darts at a team that's trying to figure it out based on how much success we've had. I hope people can start to see through that and understand what we're about as a team and what we're going to build toward. That's basically it. If you want to get on and say whatever you want to say, and fill that 24-hour news cycle, that's cool with us. We're still going to hoop and just play basketball."
Yes Steph, thatâs what we are going to do. You are correct, the 24-hour news cycle needs to be filled. When the Warriors were winning and dominating you and the team had no issues with everyone lavashing the completely deserved praise upon you.
Welcome to the other side.
âWinner: The fan bases of all the other NBA teams, and those that thrive on schadenfreude.