Chris "Mad Dog" Russo mocks Stephen A. Smith for his pregame tunnel walk. Screen grab: ESPN

By this point, Stephen A. Smith’s star power is undeniable.

But in case you were unaware, you needn’t look any further than his entrance into Game 4 of the NBA Finals this past Friday.

While it’s been years since pregame tunnel walks first became a staple of NBA games, the fashion-based ritual is often reserved for the teams’ players. Game 4 in Dallas, however, proved to be an exception, with ESPN’s cameras capturing Smith in a suit and sunglasses strutting through the halls of American Airlines Arena prior to the contest.

The video of Smith’s pregame entrance proceeded to go viral, but didn’t sit well with at least one of his First Take colleagues. During Wednesday’s edition of his “What are you mad about?” segment, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo took aim at Smith’s Finals entrance.

“Steve, this is stupid,” Russo said. “What, you think you’re going to score 36 this night with the sunglasses on? I mean this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. How ’bout going to a ballgame with a t-shirt on and a pair of shorts, sitting in the upper deck and having a beer with the fellas? Why are you doing this? Look at this! This is laughable! We know you’re a star, Steve. We know you’re a star. You don’t gotta show off. Go sit upstairs and watch the game privately.”

Molly Qerim admitted she was a fan of Smith’s suit, but a bigger fan of Russo proclaiming that he looked like he thought he was going to keep up with the likes of Jayson Tatum and Luka DonÄŤić on the court.

“The fact that you just said, ‘What did you think, you’re going to score 36?’ is freaking hilarious,” Qerim told Russo. “Because he walks out like he’s LeBron. He’s got the irrational confidence. That’s what makes him Stephen A.”

“It’s not irrational,” Smith corrected Qerim.

Because as we know by now, when it comes to First Take, everything’s about Smith.

[Awful Announcing on X, First Take]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.