Stephen A. Smith Was ‘Genuinely Pissed Off’ After Jay Williams Implied Personal Vendetta During Heated Argument On First Take

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Stephen A. Smith did not like how Jay Williams approached their conversation about Kyrie Irving on ESPN’s First Take last month. It pissed him off, genuinely.

Back in early February, after the Nets traded Irving to the Mavericks, Williams joined Smith on his daily morning show. It quickly devolved into a heated argument that got oddly personal, fast.

Williams called Smith both emotional and triggered. Smith pushed back and took issue with how Williams questioned whether his opinion of Irving was personal.

It made for great television, but things got out of hand and forced host Molly Qerim to step in.

Smith and other television personalities often escalate discussions to a place of contention, but it’s usually just for show. There isn’t any lingering bad blood.

That was not the case when Williams and Smith got into it. The latter was actually upset with the former.

Smith recently spoke about the spat on the Missanelli’s BetRivers podcast. He was furious with how it all went down.

In the case of Jay Williams, I was genuinely pissed off. Jay Williams is a friend and a colleague and somebody that I’m pretty close to. On this particular morning, I don’t know who the hell he was. I don’t know what the hell happened that he would come at me in such a personal manner just because I was giving constructive criticism with Kyrie.

— Stephen A. Smith, via Missanelli’s BetRivers podcast

Specifically, Smith did not appreciate how Williams approached their disagreement. He didn’t like being accused of muddying the waters between personal feelings and objective criticism

Now Kyrie and I have our differences on a personal level, which is none of anybody’s business and I’ll never tell why. He knows why. And his daddy knows why. They know how I feel about how they’ve acted towards me and they know how I feel about them and I know how they feel about me. But I can say that to anybody out there because I know that that does not interfere with my reporting on him and my perspective based off of the facts.

— Stephen A. Smith, via Missanelli’s BetRivers podcast

Despite their disagreement last month, Smith and Williams seem to have made up. They have both appeared on ESPN’s First Take since the blow up and their conversations have been cordial.

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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