Pat McAfee questions ESPN coworkers criticizing JJ Redick Photo credit: ESPN

Pat McAfee didn’t mention Stephen A. Smith by name while calling out people for being critical of JJ Redick’s hire with the Los Angeles Lakers, but he didn’t need to.

Redick is officially the head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, which means he is officially no longer an ESPN NBA analyst or First Take contributor. After Stephen A. Smith questioned Redick’s fit with the Lakers earlier this week by claiming his now-former colleague is an “acquired taste,” McAfee called out his ESPN coworkers for talking badly about the NBA’s newest head coach.

“I don’t appreciate or like how JJ Redick has been talked about by a lot of people who have been coworkers of JJ Redick,” McAfee said near the beginning of his Friday show. “And I am not somebody who is tight with JJ Redick.”

McAfee proceeded to note that Redick played 15 years in the NBA, made it to the playoffs 14 times, and served as a leader for many of those teams.

“Everything he accomplished in basketball would lead you to believe this guy might be a good head coach,” McAfee continued. “He was actually being introduced on a lot of these shows on ESPN as a guy who’s, ‘This guy is a basketball genius, he’s been around a lot of winning cultures, yada yada yada, JJ Redick.’ And now that JJ Redick got the job, a lot of people on TV are acting like he’s not the right guy for the job.”

“Wouldn’t the people that had that guy on their show want people to believe that their show had the Los Angeles Lakers head coach on the show?” McAfee asked.

One of the people who had that guy on their show was Stephen A. Smith, who absolutely helped to elevate Redick’s media prowess with their battles on First Take. As ESPN colleagues with a seemingly good working relationship, one might assume Smith would sound upbeat about Redick becoming the next head coach of the Lakers. But as soon as Redick seemed destined to leave ESPN for Los Angeles, as first reported by Shams Charania and refuted by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Smith’s tune turned negative.

In recent weeks, Smith touted Monty Williams for the Lakers job, he questioned Redick’s fit in Los Angeles, accused him of being an “acquired taste,” condemned the timing of his podcast with LeBron James, and claimed Black NBA head coaches took issue with that podcast.

“None of it really makes sense about the chatter around JJ Redick,” McAfee said. “Is it because, potentially, they weren’t the ones that knew that JJ Redick was maybe gonna be the Los Angeles Lakers head coach? Is it that level of pettiness? Or is JJ Redick gonna stink as a head coach? I guess that is what we’ll see. That is what is being alleged seemingly by a lot of his former coworkers now at ESPN.”

Will that potential level of pettiness now be directed at McAfee? It’s no secret that Stephen A. Smith doesn’t like being called out by coworkers. And while McAfee didn’t directly call Smith out, it’s no secret that he was talking about ESPN’s foremost personality. It’s also no secret that McAfee and Smith got into an “explosive” off-air argument earlier this year. McAfee is just curious about Smith’s recent commentary on Redick. Smith, however, probably doesn’t think so.

[The Pat McAfee Show]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to