July 26, 2017
We don’t have too many strict editorial rules here at the PhillyVoice sports section, but one of them is if former Inquirer columnist and current ESPN talking head Stephen A. Smith personally threatens an NBA superstar in a public manner, we write about it.
Just two years ago, Smith looked into a camera and said, “You don’t want to make an enemy out of me.” And over the past 24 hours, Stephen A. has now gotten into a public spat with perhaps the only more important basketball player than Durant: LeBron James.
Smith’s problem with James stems from the four-time NBA MVP going to social media to shoot down a report from Smith that LeBron would be tempted to fight disgruntled guard Kyrie Irving if the two players were currently in the same room.
Instead of #FakeNews, James opted to go with #NotFacts on Twitter:
Smith decided to respond on his radio show with a rant that was low on journalistic value yet high on entertainment. This qualifies as performance art:
“I did not speculate, I did not put that out there, it was told to me…. VERBATIM!” Smith said at one point.
“LeBron James likes comfort, and let’s just say that I don’t make him too comfortable,” he later added, somehow keeping it together.
And finally, to top everything off, Smith threatened to reveal a bombshell story about James from 2010 that he’s apparently sitting on.
"What if I got into the real story about what happened with LeBron James against Boston the year before he decided to leave Cleveland and take his talents to South Beach?" Smith screamed at the top of his lungs.
You heard it here first: LeBron James tanked the 2010 Eastern Conference Playoffs!
OK, not really. But LeBron is now fighting a war on multiple fronts, one against Kyrie Irving and another one against Stephen A. Smith (OK, not really again).
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