Stephen A. Smith tells JJ Redick to stop getting frustrated by First Take

JJ Redick might love going on First Take with Stephen A. Smith, but he hates some of the ridiculous questions the show poses during his segments.

Tuesday morning, First Take addressed former Miami Heat point guard Mario Chalmers’ claim that “nobody fears” playing against LeBron James. Naturally, every debate show relished the opportunity to discuss James, who has not played a basketball game in nearly a month.

Redick scoffed at the question, somewhat, by reading the literal definition of fear. “How we view fear, like I’m scared and cowering in a corner, that doesn’t exist,” Redick continued before acknowledging a lot of players instill fear in coaches when they’re game planning. It seems like an obvious take for a former athlete to make, but his spin on the question prompted Smith to have a sort of production meeting with Redick while they were on live TV.

“JJ, I’m gonna help you out here,” Smith began. “Because you’ve become more and more exceptional in the world of television, but I’m gonna help you out here because I know these kinds of subjects frustrate the living hell out of you. But I’m going to eradicate your frustration once and for all by giving you a perspective that I want you to hold onto.

“Stop paying so much attention to the question and pay more attention to the conversations that those questions provoke, “Smith said. “Because usually, when we’re asking a question, it’s just an excuse to get into a bigger, broader picture which allows you to educate the world on your perspective of basketball which is something I think a lot of folks needs to hear. That’s how you got to look at it. Don’t get so frustrated with the questions.”

“I was not frustrated today with the question,” Redick said with a smile. “Today I was not.”

Despite referring to First Take as a “priority” when crafting his latest ESPN contract, seemingly appreciating his role alongside Stephen A. Smith, Redick has also admitted to being frustrated by the show’s questions and topics in the past.

Last year, Redick gave a brief look behind the curtain on the theatrics of First Take when he admitted, “on these shows they give you a ridiculous question,” while responding to a Twitter critic. Redick also once did a double take when the question he was asked didn’t exactly match what First Take’s chyron displayed, fearing that it would lead to having his quotes misrepresented by the loathed aggregators. And earlier this month, Redick railed against First Take, blasting the show for allowing hosts to create narratives that don’t exist in reality.

The NBA analyst was less deliberate in expressing any disapproval with First Take Tuesday morning, but perhaps tired of his past criticisms, Smith relished the opportunity to “eradicate” Redick’s noticeable frustrations with the debate show model.

[First Take]

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