Yet again, Stephen A. Smith is getting in a back and forth with another NBA player for the Brooklyn Nets. This time, it’s with star point guard Kyrie Irving.
If you didn’t know, Smith has been critical of Irving ever since he came to Brooklyn. He was especially critical after the star point guard decided that he would not get vaccinated before the 2021-2022 NBA season, allowing him to play only away games, not in Los Angeles or New York.
That criticism only heated up after the Nets were swept out of the first round of the playoffs and Irving was one of the scapegoats for the rollercoaster season the team just went through, deservedly so.
Over the weekend, there was speculation that Irving would not opt into his $37 million player option and was looking for a way to join the Los Angeles Lakers. But on Monday, the star point guard decided to exercise his player option and return to the Nets.
Smith couldn’t help himself and decided to throw a couple of shots at Irving in a video he posted on social media.
As Smith usually does, he mocked “Uncle Drew” and told him that “you gotta show up to work” and called the NBA champion a “peon” for opting in, which could be referencing when Irving referred to the media as “pawns” in December 2020.
The television personality also said that although Irving opted in, he doesn’t plan to stay with the Nets for the entire year.
Instead of staying quiet, Irving tweeted a response to Smith that said, “@stephenasmith you’re gonna have to explain yourself to people in your generation. I am not around many 50 plus year olds that speak and act like you do, so this is new for me. But I am sure my father and my uncles can meet you on your level better than I can. We know you STEPHEN.”
@stephenasmith you’re gonna have to explain yourself to people in your generation. I am not around many 50 plus year olds that speak and act like you do, so this is new for me. But I am sure my father and my uncles can meet you on your level better than I can. We know you STEPHEN
— A11Even (@KyrieIrving) June 28, 2022
As everyone expected, Smith tweeted a lengthy note in response to Irving where he told him to “stop hiding behind the public support” and “fess up to the shenanigans you engage in.”
Smith also challenged Irving to engage in a “1-on-1 for the WORLD to see” so the Nets superstar can put his “TRUTH up against mine in a public forum for everyone to judge.”
Smith asked for the time and place, we’ll see if Irving accepts and actually “shows up.”