Stephen A. Smith apologizes to LeBron James Photo credit: First Take

After more than two decades in the NBA, LeBron James had a career first Thursday morning when he forced Stephen A. Smith to issue a public apology.

Earlier this week on ESPN’s First Take, Smith predicted the Los Angeles Clippers would “bust” the Los Angeles Lakers’ “a**” Wednesday night. And for three quarters, Smith was right. But in the fourth quarter, LeBron put the Lakers on his back and erased a 21-point deficit to beat the Clippers, garnering an apology from Stephen A. Smith.

“I don’t do this often,” Smith said Thursday morning on First Take. “I really, really don’t. But I owe LeBron James an apology. I just do.”

“To watch him drilling those threes, to know he’s in his 21st season, he’s 39 years of age,” Smith boasted of LeBron’s comeback win. “You know I’m MJ all day every day, but to see this brother do what he did last night…when it counted most he was absolutely spectacular.”

Well, now LeBron can finally sleep at night. The Lakers star has two Olympic gold medals, four NBA championships, 21 All-Star appearances, the all-time scoring record and he’s on the cusp of surpassing 40,000 career points. But all of it must pale in comparison to getting an apology from Stephen A. Smith.

As Smith noted, he doesn’t do this often. Surely, Smith will claim that’s because he doesn’t make claims or say things deserving of an apology. Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans might disagree.

[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