Stephen A. Smith rules the hot take universe, lets the people debate whatever he said, and laughs his way to the bank. Inevitably, his outlandish takes cause a lot of reactions. What makes Stephen A. great at his job is the fact he is always willing to meet his critics and that he welcomes jokes thrown at his expense. The best ever to do that is Kevin Hart.
Kevin Hart roasts Stephen A. Smith
Hart guested ESPN’s First Take several times and wasted no time hammering Smith on his controversial opinions. Here’s Hart giving his friend a dose of his own medicine.
Kevin on getting tired of listening to SAS:
“When Kevin Hart comes here, I come here for war. You know why? Because I’m sick and tired of listening to what you say on TV.”
Criticizing SAS’s bias with the Knicks:
“When it comes to Knicks, you’re always wrong. Because your love gets in the way of your opinions.”
On Stephen A. Smith’s alleged bullying of Max Kellerman:
“You’re not gonna beat Max down. You’re a bully with a capital B. You come here and you bully people with words that we don’t even understand. Hot stuff that ain’t even in a dictionary.”
All is good between the two, as they are close friends. What makes Hart’s takes hilarious is that they are valid to some extent. Meanwhile, Smith should be commended for taking everything with a grain of salt. His job is to lambast and criticize players when he sees the need for it, and he takes shades and roasts like a pro.
The biggest mistake you can make is to think he is just a hot-take artist. If you catch Stephen A. on Zach Lowe's podcast, for instance, you'll get a measured, well-informed reporter with nuanced takes. That's why Stephen A. can laugh at his own expense - he's in on the joke.
On the Ben Simmons issue
“I think Ben Simmons will eventually get the right advice, will do the right thing and come back to basketball when he’s mentally right. You kick my city every chance you get. I won’t allow it to happen here.”
SAS questioned Simmons’ claim about having mental issues as the reason for this absence from team activities. Fast forward to today, and Smith’s takes were proven to be prophetic. Love him or hate him, he's good at what he does: stir up debates and hold players accountable.