Videos by OutKick
Stephen A. Smith talks about the NBA by trade. He makes $12 million a year doing so. But he never played basketball at a high level.
To some former athletes, that disqualifies him from speaking from a place of authority. That’s particularly true when he debates former NBA guard JJ Redick on First Take.
Tuesday, Redick took a shot at Smith’s credentials in a segment on LeBron James’ future. According to Redick, Smith doesn’t understand “athletic morality.”
Here’s Redick mocking Smith’s rather pedestrian and short-lived basketball career at Winston-Salem State:
Credit to Brian Windhorst for holding it together during the awkward exchange. He didn’t even smirk as the debate turned off the rails.
Redick later apologized to Smith, saying his comment went too far. He clarified he meant no disrespect to Winston-Salem State or Stephen A.
Of course, that isn’t exactly true.
This wasn’t the first time Redick cited Smith’s lack of playing experience to undermine him. Last month, he told Stephen A., to his face, “It’s very obvious that you’ve played zero high-level basketball and you do not understand the requirements of doing that.”
Redick doesn’t respect Smith’s basketball analysis. And perhaps he shouldn’t.
Then again, playing basketball doesn’t make you an expert. See Kendrick Perkins for proof.
Still, Redick’s disrespect for Smith is one of the bright spots of the show. Smith kicked Max Kellerman off the program in 2021 and has since filled the opposing chair with a rotation of lightweight duds. To name a few:
Perkins, Mina Kimes, Marcus Spears, Ryan Clark, some person named Monica McNutt, and even failed TV host Bomani Jones.
Kellerman was a dweeb. But come on now.
At least Redick makes it interesting. His uptight prick-ness makes him the ideal foe for Stephen A.