Stephen A. Smith addresses JJ Redick-Doc Rivers feud The Stephen A. Smith Show

JJ Redick’s scathing assessment of Doc Rivers seemed personal, but according to Stephen A. Smith, James Harden may have had a role in the rant.

Earlier this week, Redick torched Rivers on First Take, claiming the Milwaukee Bucks head coach is always quick with excuses to avoid taking any accountability. After being graced with a front row seat to the rant Tuesday morning on First Take, Stephen A. Smith addressed the apparent Redick-Rivers feud on the latest episode of his podcast.

“In his eyes, he’s giving basketball analysis,” Smith said of Redick. “But I think it extends beyond that when you use words like ‘lack of accountability’ and ‘throwing somebody under the bus.’ Clearly there’s more to it than just basketball there. And if you talk to anybody who talks to Doc Rivers, that’s what Doc Rivers is gonna say. ‘It’s personal between he and I’ and left it at that. Didn’t elaborate on it when I spoke to him about it cause you know I called to ask Doc Rivers.”

Redick played some of his best NBA basketball with Rivers as his head coach, making his rant all the more surprising. But Smith is not alone in believing there was something personal behind Redick interrupting First Take to torch Rivers. Austin Rivers, Pat Beverley and Kendrick Perkins all thought Redick’s rant was about more than basketball analysis. Smith, however, doesn’t just believe there was something more than basketball behind the rant, he alleged James Harden may have played a role in Redick’s viral commentary.

“I got the impression that JJ Redick’s words weren’t just coming from him,” Smith added on his podcast. “It was coming from an abundance of players who happen to feel a certain way about Doc Rivers. And I think it’s a safe bet in saying that James Harden, now a Clipper, the former Philadelphia 76er, playing under Doc Rivers last year, is one of those players.”

Smith began his podcast segment by attempting to play Switzerland and stay neutral in the Redick vs Rivers feud. But Smith eventually acknowledged he thought Redick’s rant was personal, which journalistically speaking, is something that shouldn’t be influencing an analyst’s on-air commentary. And Smith closed by claiming Redick was serving as a sort of mouthpiece for other NBA players, mainly James Harden.

Redick often rails against hot takes and the debate show game. But if what Smith is saying is true, then Redick can stop holding himself to a higher standard. And if it’s not true, then Redick should be taking issue with Smith, just as Smith did when Jay Williams accused him of letting personal feelings sway his commentary on Kyrie Irving.

[The Stephen A. Smith 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