Stephen A. Smith and Jemele Hill Rip Into Dez Bryant for Accusing Malika Andrews of Ignoring Josh Giddey Controversy

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Rising NBA star Josh Giddey broke the internet over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend after allegations of an improper relationship with an underage girl were laid against him.

While the 21-year-old Australian is being picked apart for the rumors online, another person has been thrown into the fire for their lack of coverage of the allegations.

ESPN reporter Malika Andrews has been drug through the mud by social media users and basketball fans, as they felt she has not given the same attention to the case as she does with coverage on other Black NBA players and coaches. Andrews has been called out before by NBA fans who felt she tried to hurt the reputation of Black players’ and coaches’ careers by digging up dirt on their pasts.

Stephen A. Smith and Jemele Hill backed Malika Andrews after Dez Bryant called her out for her coverage on the Josh Giddey situation.
Stephen A. Smith and Jemele Hill backed Malika Andrews (far right) after Dez Bryant called her out for her coverage on the Josh Giddey situation. (Photo: @stephenasmith @jemelehill @malika_andrews @dezbryant/Instagram)

Another person who called out the sports reporter over the weekend was former Dallas Cowboys player Dez Bryant.

On Monday, Nov. 27, Bryant made a post on X, saying, “you went out your way to crucify Brandon Miller on draft day over something he didn’t even do Why haven’t you said nothing about Josh Giddey.”

Miller was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets this year, and during the draft, Andrews reported that Miller was a “cooperating witness” in the death of 23-year-old Jamea Jonae Harris on Jan. 15 in Tuscaloosa. The 21-year-old brought a gun to one of his former University of Alabama basketball teammates, at his request. The former teammate, Darius Miles, told another man, Michael Lynn Davis, where the gun was in the car and Davis fired, with the woman being hit and killed. Miles and Davis now face charges; Miller never was charged. Harris’ mother since has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Miller, Miles and Davis.

Bryant advised Andrews not to make this “a black-or-white thing,” and he said her parents hadn’t raised her right. He called her “a puppet” and said he didn’t know how current or former NBA players could talk to her.

Later that same day, Andrews reported on the Giddey situation, but fans already had picked their sides. Some believe she has gone out of her way to talk bad about Black men in the NBA, while others argued that she was just stating the facts and doing her job.

Andrews’ colleague Stephen A. Smith discussed the situation further during the Nov. 29 episode of his self-titled podcast.

Smith, who’s had his own problems with Andrews in the past, came to her defense against Bryant’s “extreme” post. He said that going at Andrews the way Bryant did is off kilter because as a reporter you must report facts, and nobody knows all the facts in the Giddey situation because no one is talking.

The “First Take” host also noted that Andrews had to talk about Miller on his draft night because they had to know how his involvement in the death of the young woman would affect his career in the “Bible Belt” of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Smith said that reporters “don’t always have choices” as he explained that if Andrews didn’t ask the question, her higher-ups would question if she deserved her position.

Bryant replied to Smith, saying that he would love to go on his show, and “provide more context” about what he was saying. Next, former ESPN reporter Jemele Hill jumped into the fray, stating that Bryant’s “tone and approach to Malika was out of line.”

Hill said, “You made it personal by bringing in how she was raised. You didn’t bring any of that energy to any of the male broadcasters. She wasn’t on air when the news about Josh Giddey happened and addressed it when she returned.”

One critic, responded saying, “The issue with women like Malika and Jemele are they’re just black in appearance. They have no connection to or understanding of the black male athletes they cover. Malika was fast tracked at ESPN because she’s a super minority hire in their eyes being both black and a woman.”

Hill countered with, “I was today years old when I found out I was only Black “in appearance.” I’m not even mad at the audacity, I’m truly impressed.”

However, Bryant replied to Hill, saying, “Don’t do that,” adding that he already apologized, but he still stands behind everything he said. He pointed out that, “Ain’t s–t sweet,” because he will go at a woman, the same way he will go at any man.

“Y’all gotta know by now idgaf for the right reasons and it’s at an all time high right now,” Bryant posted. “I have high respect for you Jemele let’s stay reasonable.”

Bryant did apologize about the situation, but he said he wouldn’t talk about it anymore, unless Smith or Andrews wanted to do an on-air interview.