Stephen A. Smith really went in on Blake Griffin

MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 9: Blake Griffin
MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 9: Blake Griffin /

On First Take, Stephen A. Smith went in on Blake Griffin for his comments on LeBron James’ impending free agency. Let’s analyze what Stephen A. had to say and defend the LA Clippers’ big man.

Stephen A. Smith, the most annoying person in sports media, went in on the LA Clippers’ Blake Griffin for his comments about LeBron James’ plans for free agency next summer. There are a lot of angles to consider here, and I wholeheartedly want to get to all of them.

To start with, let’s look at Blake’s comments. On the View From the Cheap Seats podcast, Blake was asked how crazy it would be if LeBron wanted to come to the Clippers.

"“I don’t see it happening but it would be insane. Obviously, every team would welcome him. Honestly I don’t see him coming to LA period. Listen, again, I have no idea, I think something is brewing with him and his group of guys. I don’t know what’s going to happen but I think something’s brewing and they’re going to try to make that work. I can see him going to New York before LA.”"

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – APRIL 21: Blake Griffin
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – APRIL 21: Blake Griffin /

Okay, so let’s break his comments down. First of all, this is his opinion. Blake was not stating fact or trying to influence anybody’s thought process at all. When asked for your opinion, you give your opinion, right?

Secondly, Blake is being reasonable. LeBron James is not coming to the LA Clippers. There was a time when we thought that there was a slim chance that the Banana Boat would drop anchor in LA. That time has passed. Blake knows that it is not going to happen as much as we do.

Third, Blake commented on “Something brewing” between LeBron and his best buds. This is a reference to Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and, most importantly in this scenario, Chris Paul. Why is Paul important you ask? Because Blake Griffin just spent half a decade with him. You could argue he may be slightly better placed than others (yes I’m talking about Stephen A.) to speculate on the Banana Boat’s plans.

Finally, Blake speculated that James could head to the Mecca over the City of Angels. What is important to note here? Blake literally disclaimed himself by saying he had no real idea, which is something Stephen A. never seems to do. Turns out, it’s okay to speculate if you make it clear you are speculating.

Now that we’ve examined what Blake said, let’s dive in to Stephen A. and his ‘first take’.

"“Yes I do (have a problem with Blake’s comments). And the problem that I have with Blake’s comment is that if you were the player that you were supposed to be maybe they would be talking about coming to Los Angeles to play with you.I mean this is a guy that’s a career 21 and 9 player. Okay, 49% shooting from the field at least over the last couple of years that’s been the case. But he’s also been an individual that’s missed 68 games over the last two years due to injury… But there’s usually an APB out for him when it really really counts because whether it’s injury or the fact that when it’s the fourth quarter and it’s time to close he’s not that individual…You’re in the City of Angels, it’s not with the Purple and Gold we get that. But you are in Los Angeles, California on a team that’s been to the playoffs the last several years and you are a star, but talking about how other stars might want to go and play someplace else and going to bring the New York Knicks into the equation… But they’d rather go there than thinking about coming to play for you or with you.When you utter those words out of your mouth he’s thinking about them and he’s not realising that people like me and many other basketball fans are looking at him and saying ‘why aren’t you talking about the possibility of them coming to play for you?’ And if they’re not talking about it, maybe its because you haven’t lived up to the exceptional talent you possess.”"

Now, there is a lot to process here, and I’m going to leave out how annoying it is to start sentences with ‘and’. Basically, at the heart of it, Stephen A. is angling at discrediting Blake Griffin.

Stephen A. seems to think that if Blake ‘was the player he was supposed to be’, the Banana Boat would consider coming to the Clippers. For one thing, Chris Paul literally just sacrificed millions to leave. Next year (assuming opt ins/outs) the Clippers will have roughly $92 million on the books for 10 players. Without even considering DeAndre Jordan’s new contract. I don’t think it’s worth the words to discuss adding one of the Banana Boat crew let alone all four. Sound analysis Stephen A.

Next up was Blake’s stats. 21 and 9? 49%? Isn’t that good for top-15 league-wide among starting forwards in most categories? Following injuries? Not Earth-shattering, but is that really worth slandering on a TV show?

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Clearly, Blake isn’t qualified to comment on anything NBA related. Let’s examine Stephen A. Smith, and what makes him so qualified. It’s very difficult to find any information about his playing career. He apparently played D2 basketball for Winston Salem State University. But a 21 and 9 All-Star that actually plays with and against these people has an irrelevant opinion.

This is a guy who told his audience to stop watching him because somebody called him out for being dead wrong on multiple takes. This is a guy who incorrectly predicted an absurd number of NBA finals. He has a murky past with regards to comments on domestic violence on multiple occasions, but we won’t get into that. For fun, however, First Take was named one of the 20 worst shows on television. He also enjoys getting into ridiculous fights with MVP’s and wives of MVP’s.

All this to say that First Take is a show that encourages the notion that the louder you are, the more valid your point is. I mean, why else would they have LaVar Ball on there to argue? At times it can be entertaining, but mostly it is unfounded, juvenile and bordering on asinine.

Blake Griffin gave an opinion. As somebody with a career built on opinions it is disappointing that Stephen A. used Blake on a slow news day.