Damian Lillard probably considers himself to be a top-5 NBA player today. Maybe he’ll feel less confident after hearing Stephen A Smith’s support.
It goes without saying that Stephen A Smith is perhaps the most annoying NBA talking head out there. It’s also obvious that he’s going to rule the airwaves whether you like it or not.
His brand of instigation on live TV every morning is a formula that perhaps only Skip Bayless has bettered. SAS has got 2 shows that are entirely his own right now.
There’s First Take every morning on weekdays, and he’s also got Stephen A’s World to boot. All said and done, if you happen to pass by a barbershop or a sports bar, you’ll hear him trying to befuddle audiences with yet another outrageous take.
It seems he’s set to kick the new season off with yet another attempt to grab eyeballs. But his take is so preposterous that it seems worthy of mention.
“Damian Lillard is a top-5 NBA player”: Stephen A Smith snubs James Harden in favor of Blazers star
Stephen A Smith posted his list of top-5 NBA players heading into the new NBA season on Twitter recently. He listed Damian Lillard, LeBron James, Giannis, Steph Curry and Kevin Durant in this list.
Do you notice 3, or 4, or maybe even 5 players who’re being glaringly disrespected here?
My top 5 players heading into the season! pic.twitter.com/hlhkBwaaGg
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) October 19, 2021
If there’s one player whose stock has dropped significantly without any valid reason at all over the past summer, it is James Harden. For the average reasonable fan, it would seem like a no-brainer to include him in one’s top-5 list.
After all, he’s won 3 of the last 4 scoring titles in addition to the assist title in 2016-17. James Harden was also on pace to record 11+ assists per game when he went down with injury in April 2021.
This meant that despite being a top-3 nba.com MVP leaderboard candidate at several points, Harden moved out of a lot of people’s top 5. He clearly doesn’t command the respect that, say, LeBron James would.
Damian Lillard is a great scorer and a great point guard, but Harden is better at both. He’s also a significantly more useful defender than Dame in a playoff setting.