Earlier this week, Kyrie Irving unleashed yet another rant against the media where he pleaded for fans to ignore the television personalities who “mix sports with politics and lifestyle” when they’re discussing his impending free agency. Irving didn’t mention Stephen A. Smith by name, but he didn’t need to for the ESPN personality to clap back.
During Friday’s episode of“Get Up” on ESPN, Stephen A. had a pretty blunt response to Irving’s complaints, telling him that if he didn’t like the media talking about him, there’s a pretty simple solution: quit playing in the NBA.
“Respectfully, to Kyrie Irving, who doesn’t want us talking about him: Don’t play basketball,” Smith said. “We talk about basketball. Nobody’s talking about his personal life. Nobody’s talking about the tweets from months ago. Nobody’s talking about all the things that he’s got himself involved with headlines and whatever.”
.@stephenasmith reacts to Kyrie's recent comments about him in free agency ?
"Respectfully, to Kyrie Irving, who doesn't want us talking about him, don't play basketball. We talk about basketball. … Only him seems to be somebody that would take offense to that." pic.twitter.com/jCh7z9at6b
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) May 26, 2023
“Kyrie Irving is a good dude that’s smarter than people give him credit for, but I do think it’s utterly ridiculous for him to be telling people, ‘they don’t know, don’t listen to them.’ Well why wouldn’t they listen to us? We’re just talking basketball. We’re prognosticating about where you could potentially go,” Smith continued. “Nobody says they know or anything like that. And if you don’t want us to talk about you as a basketball player, quit! Because we’re going to talk about you.”
This is certainly not the first time Smith has had a testy message for Irving as he’s even revealed that he has “personal” issues with the NBA star.