Stephen A. Smith debates LeBron James vs Steph Curry

The NBA Playoffs are off to a rousing start, with the league enjoying some of its highest viewership in decades. But ESPN’s First Take is out here talking Mount Rushmore.

Usually, Mount Rushmore is saved for the sports lull in February or the dog days of summer. But Stephen A. Smith felt inclined to drop a hot take on Wednesday, May 3.

“JJ Redick, Mad Dog Russo,” Smith began after a sigh. “I want you all to sit down and I want you to grab your seatbelt at what I’m about to say.”

Oh boy, something’s brewing. And Redick and Russo could not contain their anticipation, responding to Smith with eye rolls and mumbles of “oh God.”

“If Steph Curry beats LeBron in this series and dare I say, wins his fifth NBA championship, we might have to remove LeBron James off of Mount Rushmore and put Steph Curry on it. That’s right, I said it!” Smith boldly declared.

Credit Smith for this, he knows how to set up a hot take as well as anyone. And he certainly knows how to elicit reaction on social media with a sports debate. But who’s asking for this debate in round two of the NBA Playoffs?

Keep in mind, that Smith dropped this take after just one game in the playoff series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, perhaps better described as James versus Curry. And not only are we just one game into the series, but the Lakers and LeBron won that game! Why are we talking Mount Rushmore in May, and why are we talking LeBron getting bumped off Mount Rushmore after a game he won?

Never one to avoid the opportunity to expose some of the absurd topics discussed on debate shows, Redick followed Smith’s declaration with a hot take of his own.

“This is my favorite thing we do on this show is when we argue about hypotheticals,” Redick said. “I’ll just say this, if Steph Curry were to win 50 championships, he would be the greatest player of all time.”

[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