Stephen A. Smith, Jay Williams, and Kendrick Perkins Credit: ESPN

On Friday, Stephen A. Smith shared some disparaging comments from an “NBA source” about Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown on First Take.

He’s been hearing about it ever since.

On Friday, Smith was discussing whether or not Brown was the most underrated star in the NBA alongside Jay Williams and Kendrick Perkins. Towards the end of the segment, he shared some thoughts that an NBA source had just texted him. The anonymous source said that Brown isn’t underrated, “he’s just not liked.”

“I wanted to read to y’all what an NBA source just sent me,” Smith said. “He said, ‘Jaylen Brown, it’s not so much that he’s underrated, it’s that he’s just not liked because of his I-am-better-than-you attitude. He knows it. It’s the same reason he is not as marketable as he should be.’ That’s what an NBA source just sent me.”

Smith went on to say that he likes Brown personally but wondered if there was any truth to what the source was saying.

Sunday morning, NBA TV analyst Isiah Thomas caught wind of those comments, called out Smith’s source for “slander,” and urged Smith to put the source’s name out there. SAS responded soon after, claiming that he’s a supporter of Brown’s and shaming Thomas for posting his grievance on X rather than contacting him directly.

On Sunday afternoon, Brown himself took to X and reshared a clip from that discussion that BSO’s Robert Littal posted on X. He quoted the post, adding “State your source.”

Brown also “liked” Jemele Hill’s quote-post of the clip, in which she wondered aloud if this source soured on Brown because of his work in social justice.

Brown’s post must have been brought to Smith’s attention because he returned to X to state his case once more.

“First off, that’s not happening. It’s journalism. Not revealing sources,” wrote the ESPN host. “Secondly, if you continue to watch the segment, I completely disagreed with them — as did Kendrick Perkins. The point we were actually discussing is how under appreciated you are and why that may be, which is why I read the quote. I even brought up how socially conscious you are, and how that may not be liked, knowing you’re a good brother. Also, that you’re a $300M man and you deserve it. But that doesn’t mean naysayers don’t get heard. That comes with the territory.”

Perkins also reacted to the initial clip, saying that it frustrates him because it leaves out the positive conversation they had afterward about Brown and what he does off the court.

“See the thing hate about Clips… is that [Stephen A. Smith], [Jay Williams], and myself went on to praise Jaylen Brown about his leadership and especially the role he plays in the Black Community.”

Expect this drama to continue on Monday when First Take returns to the airwaves and Stephen A. Smith gets his chance to say what’s on his mind on his home turf.

[First Take, Robert Littal, Jaylen Brown, Stephen A. Smith, Kendrick Perkins]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to