Stephen A Smith jump shot

While “You never played the game” typically isn’t a good criticism of journalists, there’s a big difference between the athletic skills of a professional athlete and those of most journalists. Houston Rockets’ guard James Harden proved that Tuesday, tweeting a video of him passing to ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith and Smith trying in vain to make open three-pointers without any defenders on the court:

At least the second shot hits the rim, even if it still isn’t particularly close. The first air ball is just embarrassing, and Harden’s right that Smith won’t be challenging NBA players any time soon. TThat undoubtedly won’t stop him from being incredibly opinionated about them, though. To be fair, Harden did follow up with some tweets indicating he was joking around and that he had fun hanging out with Smith:

Smith responded, too:

The clip of Stephen A. missing wide-open jumpers is still pretty funny, though, and it raises some good questions. If Stephen A. hates bad basketball, and if he’s bad at basketball, does that mean he hates himself? And should we really want him sticking to his day job when he isn’t particularly good at that, either? At least every moment he’s launching air balls is one he’s not speechifying about the state of the NBA or threatening Kevin Durant. You don’t have to be a great basketball player to be a great basketball journalist, but Smith is neither.

Maybe we should just set Stephen A. up with a private basketball court and keep him nicely contained. And hey, perhaps even the Stephen A. Smith Heckling Society of Gentlemen could drop by and critique his play. It might work out, as long as they bring him some Cheez Doodles.

[James Harden on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.