Every day, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith flies off the handle on one of his signature long-winded utterances regarding the ability, integrity or heart of one sports figure or another. Recently, he was leaning into the Cleveland Cavaliers’ JR Smith, who is averaging a career low 5.4 points per game on 25% shooting from the field this season.
However, instead of staying on topic, Smiths blast radius is as vast as an event horizon. When he exhales, its anyones guess just where those gravity waves will hit and what calamity will arise.
I dont know why Nike made these uniforms with hoodies on them,” said Smith. “Some of these white people in the audience might think this is Trayvon Martin revisited, and Im not joking about this.
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Because of the quasi struggles of the Cavs to start off the season, the guys in wine and gold have been all up in the various mouths of the multiheaded Cerebus that is the cable sports news elite. But Smith has always had a particular affinity for all things LeBron.
Because this is Cleveland, the story of JR Smith’s struggles are adjacent to James’ quest for another ring. So, in a weird, transitive property kind of way, he’s covering LeBron by covering Smith. Thus, his fervor and pomposity.
Of course, JR Smith, regardless of his frigid trigger finger at the moment, would respond via social media.
This man is always reaching. What does me wearing my Hoodie on the bench have anything todo with reminding “white people” of #trayvon
Here was Stephen As response on First Take.
I wasnt talking about J.R. Smith. I was talking about Nike, Smith said. Nikes the one making the hoodies. I wasnt talking about him wearing the hoodies during layup lines or whatever. I was talking specifically about the J.R. Smith that was on the bench cause he had only played three minutes in the fourth quarter of that opener against Boston.”
“When he was sitting on the bench with his hoodie on looking like a sad puppy, because D-Wade was on the floor for eight of those 12 minutes as opposed to J.R. Smith. Who obviously, reportedly, was very upset at the fact that he was taken out of the starting lineup…Handle your business…If you start playing the way you’re supposed to be playing, you wouldn’t be concerned about anything I say.”
It’s all well and good that he clarified his comments, stating that he was referring to JR Smith sulking over playing time, and it was indeed clear thats exactly what he was speaking on. Additionally, it was only right that JR defend his honor.
However, what appears to be lost in all of this is Trayvon Martin. Yes, Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African American young man who was shot by the cowardly George Zimmerman.
Of course we do. The head scratching part is that Stephen A. brought up Trayvons name in a manner that seems to be random, while sprinkling in a pseudo sociological breakdown of white folks sensibilities.