“Get The F*** Out My Face”| Stephen A. Smith Had No Time For Rich Paul After Saying LeBron Is The Second-Best Player In History

Apparently ESPN talking head Stephen A. Smith cussed at Klutch Sports Group Founder and CEO Rich Paul, when he told the business mogul that LeBron James is the second-greatest player ever.

This debate always leads to arguments and hurt feelings, but the way Smith tells the story speaks to something larger.

“I got him as the second best player in the history of basketball,” Smith said of James. “I got him ahead of Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar]. I got him behind no one but [Michael] Jordan. … I said, ‘You act like that’s an insult.’ This dude, ‘It is an insult.’ I said, ‘Get the f— out of my face.'”

Smith was a guest on the “Podcast P Show” with NBA All-Star Paul George and told the story of his encounter with Paul.

This is Smith’s version of the events. It’s likely Paul would describe their exchange differently. Then there is the truth about what was actually said.

Second Best Isn’t Bad

If Smith is to be believed, this is at the heart of his issue with current players. Saying LeBron is the second greatest player ever, isn’t an insult. The game has been played forever, and the NBA has been around for nearly 80 years. A lot of elite players have touched the hardwood.

No matter how you slice it if you’re talking the greatest player of all-time, the list is short.

Consensus is that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, and LeBron are the men who can lay claim to that crown. Comparing players across eras is a fool’s errand, yet here we are.

LeBron Remains Elite

Nobody can match the elite longevity of James. Jabbar played 20 seasons but was not as impactful in his late seasons as LeBron is.

LeBron was 10th in EPM last season and in the 97th percentile in EW. That’s All-NBA level production, which he’s made for 19 seasons. Though the impact of those numbers have rang hollow the past few seasons.

Jordan didn’t even play 20 seasons.

For any one season or any game you could make a case for either man. But the reality is, being first, second or third in this group is no insult. It’s the inner sanctum of the all-time greats.

Of course Paul is going to stick up for his guy and push back at Stephen A. But this is no insult.

Paul doesn’t do a lot of media, but no doubt he’s already seen the clip of Stephen A. telling the story. How long before some kind of response from Paul and Klutch?

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