Stephen A. Smith may have had a controversial take on Steve Nash being named the new head coach of the Brooklyn Nets, but he said that it wasn’t one that he took pleasure in delivering. In fact, he called sharing his opinion “one of the toughest, toughest decisions I’ve ever had to take in my career on First Take.”
The First Take host had nothing but good things to say about Steve Nash as a person. Smith noted all of the work Nash did during his career to lift up younger and lower-profile players and acknowledged his Hall of Fame credentials.
“Steve Nash is a sensational dude, and if anybody deserves this opportunity absent the experience he has as a coach, it is him.”
Most of Stephen A. Smith’s scorn and frustration was directed at the Nets and the NBA. He said that “in these times when we are making all this noise about social justice” not much has changed in the thinking of the people at the top.
“Ladies and gentlemen, there’s no way around this. This is white privilege. This does not happen for a Black man. No experience whatsoever? On any level as a coach and you get the Brooklyn Nets job?”
Smith acknowledges that according to his sources, both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant signed off on the hire. Smith isn’t worried about Nash getting pushback from his players. He is frustrated by people like Ty Lue and Mark Jackson, who have succeeded as head coaches being passed over for a more famous white man with no experience. Smith tied his frustration into those marching in protest of racial inequality.
“The frustration, the protests and all of these things you see across America emanating from the Black community and disenfranchised communities is that proverbial glass ceiling, and the fact that it breeds a level of frustration that we can’t even put into words sometimes. You just want to scream, scream to the high heavens, ‘how the hell does this always happen for somebody else other than us?’ Why is it that we have to be twice as good to get half as much?”
Not surprisingly, Stephen A. Smith has received some pushback on social media. That’s bound to happen when you are an already polarizing figure and use a phrase like “white privilege,” which tends to set Twitter off. One interesting rebuke came from his friend and ESPN colleague Jay Williams.
As Smith pointed out at the beginning of his rant, there is no shortage of love for Nash in the league. The two-time MVP has received largely praise and well wishes from his coaching peers.
FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts
“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”
FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.
“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”
ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.
“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”
Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC
“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”
Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.
“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.
“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”
Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.
Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game
“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”
FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.
USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.
The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.
“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.
Garrett Searight is the Editor of Barrett Sports Media and Barrett News Media. He previously was the Program Director and Afternoon Co-Host on 93.1 The Fan in Lima, OH. He is also a play-by-play announcer for TV and Radio broadcasts in Western Ohio.