It may only be noon on a Monday but ESPN executives should be popping the champagne after First Take this morning.
In case you missed it, show host and analyst, Stephen A. Smith and fellow analyst Jay Williams, went to war this morning over Kyrie Irving and his power play to force a trade out of the Brooklyn Nets organization to the Dallas Mavericks.
While Smith has been a regular critic of Irving, he’s never denied his greatness on the court. Williams has been a defender of Irving at times.
But this morning, there were questions over whether the debate between Smith and Williams over Irving became personal.
“I’m not absolving Kyrie Irving of every decision” began Williams “It just carries a bigger momentum. In particular with you.”
“Do us a favor” Smith replied “Stop telling us what you find interesting and just tell us what you feel.”
“I find it interesting.” Smith said parroting Williams.
“I don’t seem to be the on being triggered right now.” fired back Williams.
“Are we talking about Kyrie? Or is this personal?” asked host, Molly Querim.
Stephen A. was trending on social media after the spot aired. A clear win on what should have been a sleepy Monday before the big show next week with the Super Bowl.
Sports debate shows often ride the lightning with controversy either at their peril or to their benefit. This morning will prove ultimately harmless to both Smith and Williams down the road.
But it will put more eyeballs on the product.
You can view the spot below….
The topic of Kyrie got Stephen A Smith and Jay Williams ready to fight pic.twitter.com/x8fY5v4o0V
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) February 6, 2023