ESPN host Stephen A. Smith has given us many incredible rants over the years, and you can quibble over which is the best (I’m partial to this one). But any conversation from here on about Stephen A.’s top vocal-chord frying meltdown must include the one he offered up Monday when the subject on First Take turned to Knicks president Phil Jackson.

Let’s break this down.

Stephen A. starts by applauding Kristaps Porzingis for making known his dissatisfaction toward Jackson. Smith then contrasts Porzingis with Carmelo Anthony, who has mostly taken the high road toward his bumbling boss.

The venom and the hostility than Phil Jackson has put on public display towards this man, for months—he has basically, figuratively speaking, slapped Carmelo Anthony around while Carmelo Anthony has done little to nothing to defend himself. And that disturbs me because he is in the right, he deserves better than this, Phil Jackson is wrong, and it’s a damn shame that Kristaps Porzingis seems to be more willing to call Phil Jackson out than Carmelo Anthony.

Whew, that was pretty harsh on Phil.

Now let me get to Phil Jackson.

Oh boy.

He is an absolute disgrace, he needs to get the hell out of New York City big-time, quick fast and in a hurry. I am an advocate of what I was years ago right before Phil Jackson was hired. I think people need to protest outside the streets of Madison Square Garden until this man is gone. He does not care. I believe he is trying to get himself fired. I believe that the only reason Phil Jackson is still in New York is because he wants the $24 million he’s still owed, and by quitting he can’t get the money, but if he’s fired he can keep the money.

This is not the first time someone on ESPN has suggested Jackson was trying to get himself fired.

Somehow some way the billionaire that is [Knicks owner] James Dolan, who can write this off on his taxes yesterday, needs to find a way to get Phil Jackson the hell out of town.

That’s not really what “writing something off” on your taxes means, right?

I’m so damn disgusted that this damn Phil Jackson is still in New York City. I don’t even know what to do with myself, Max Kellerman. I don’t even understand how you, the ultimate cool—

At this point Stephen A. goes into a borderline indecipherable sidebar about how “cool” Kellerman is and how he should, as a New Yorker, be brimming with disgust at Phil Jackson at all times. To Stephen A, it should be impossible to maintain one’s composure in light of the Knicks having an incompetent front office.

I don’t know what I would do to Phil Jackson if he showed his face. This man is a disgrace because he’s sabotaging the Knicks. He’s throwing everything away. You see the coaches he’s hired, and nobody says anything. The players, the players, the players, the contracts, but Joakim Noah and the Derek Fish—Derrick Rose trade. But what about the coaches? He’s still got Kurt Rambis on there, who I like, but he’s hated by all the coaches, by all the players—they can’t stand the man—and still he’s there.

Wait wait wait… even though everyone hates Kurt Rambis, you still like him… but you also think it’s appalling that he hasn’t been fired? Do we have that right?

This is a disgrace, and somebody needs to do something about Phil Jackson right now. Get him the hell out of New York.


Sure Stephen A.’s act is disingenuous in 10 different ways, sure he probably went off on this rant intending to inspire blog posts exactly like this one and sure it’d be nice if there were less yelling on television. But sometimes you have to give credit where it’s due and recognize a truly astounding piece of faux outrage.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.