Stephen A. Smith was shocked by fellow co-host Jalen Rose on the latest episode of NBA Countdown. The 55-year-old sports media analyst was livid with the former NBA player detailing how Giannis Antetokounmpo would still beat a 'healthy' Brooklyn Nets if we were to turn the history pages to the 2021 Eastern Conference semi-finals.
Discussing how the Brooklyn Nets look like a serious title contender in the 2022-23 season if Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant continue to stay healthy, Jalen Rose was in no mood to take any form of disrespect against the Greek Freak. Rose quickly emphasized how Giannis won his first NBA championship and Finals MVP by being the best player in the game, which Smith simply could not afford to join the 'false' hype train.
Stephen A. Smith confronts Jalen Rose for making incorrect assumptions
Rose stated, "As soon as I hear people bring up the Kyrie Irving injury, it reminds me that people still disrespect Giannis (Antetokounmpo)...Giannis found a way to become the best player in the game, win the championship, win the MVP… defensive player of the year… (Milwaukee) Bucks were gonna beat the Nets (with a healthy Kyrie and James Harden)."
"What?! That is nonsense!" Smith responded as he couldn't believe the words that came out of Jalen Rose's mouth. "I will remind you, the Brooklyn Nets were up by 50! Okay? 50!"
Why does Stephen A. Smith refuse to join the Giannis Antetokounmpo hype train?
Smith did not only refute Rose's claim but even made him aware of how close Kevin Durant got to edging his Brooklyn Nets into the EC Finals in 2021. In the Bucks vs. Nets Game 7, the Slim Reaper knocked down an emphatic buzzer-beater which was initially viewed as the game-winner, but after a thorough check, Durant's toe was found kissing the 3-Point line at the time he took flight.
The veteran NBA analyst did not stop there and concluded by stating how the scenario surrounding Brooklyn Nets would've been completely different if Durant was wearing a smaller shoe size.
Although Stephen A. Smith has humongous respect for Milwaukee Bucks' sensation Giannis Antetokounmpo, there is no way he is letting Jalen Rose paint a false picture. But who knows, maybe this postseason we might just get a Bucks vs. Nets series with all of their stars in full health to get an answer to all of these speculations.