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“LeBron James is Playing All World”: Stephen A. Smith Shuts Down Lakers Doubters, Declares Them Capable of Facing the Nuggets

Siddid Dey Purkayastha

"LeBron James is Playing All World": Stephen A. Smith Shuts Down Lakers Doubters, Declares Them Capable of Facing Nuggets

The Los Angeles Lakers have progressed to the 2024 NBA Playoffs after winning the Play-In tournament matchup against the New Orleans Pelicans. As the seventh seed, the Lakers will now face the second-seeded Denver Nuggets in the First Round of the postseason. Unfortunately for them, the defending champions still seem to be at their best, with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray leading the way for the Nuggets. However, while the Nuggets have the odds on their side at the moment, Stephen A. Smith interestingly believes the Lakers could do some serious damage to the Nuggets’ seemingly impregnable armor.

In conversation with Brian Windhorst and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo on First Take, SAS shockingly backed the Lakers in this upcoming series. In fact, he declared his faith in the team, especially LeBron James and Anthony Davis, who have been among the leading figures in this Lakers’ resurgence campaign. On this topic, SAS said the following,

“A lot of people ready to wave ‘bye bye’ to them cause they’re getting ready to go up against the defending NBA champions. That shouldn’t be the case. Anthony Davis is an all-world player, LeBron James is playing all world, Austin Reaves has been thriving, D’Angelo Russell is thriving. Rui Hachimura, excuse me? this brother can play! You got Gabe Vincent back in the lineup…The Lakers, from a personnel perspective, is universally recognized.”


.@stephenasmith isn’t counting the Lakers out against the Nuggets

— First Take (@FirstTake) April 17, 2024

Smith made sure to point out that the Lakers would not want to face the same embarrassment they did in last year’s Western Conference Finals. So, the ESPN vet trusts the LA side to play this series like a ‘life-or-death’ situation and run deep into the playoffs. Earlier, even Paul George and Kevin Garnett had discussed the same, arguing that the Lakers can definitely go ahead in the playoffs with their experience and talented personnel within the roster.

It would be interesting to see the Lakers’ vigor against the Nuggets on Saturday night. Towards the end of the regular season, they had developed some serious form and even looked like one of the most formidable teams in the NBA. So, despite the Nuggets’ brilliance, it may not be unthinkable for them to make this a competitive series.

Anthony Davis sparked motivation against facing the Denver Nuggets


Stephen A. Smith also highlighted Anthony Davis’ reply to the smack talk after the Nuggets won the chip last year. Davis said on Media Day, “It was just a lot of talking. We get it, y’all won, but me and Bron had some conversations…we can’t wait [to play them].” He also added, “But it’s a lot of motivation like you want to win anytime you lose, it’s motivation to get ready for the next season. Try to compete for a championship so that in itself is motivation.”

Considering this quote from Davis was from around seven months ago, the Lakers have lost all three games against the Nuggets this regular season. However, LeBron James is quite impressed with Denver’s toughness and takes this upcoming matchup as a challenge. James commented on their upcoming games, “It’s the defending champions. We understand how difficult of a matchup it’s been vs. them. They’re gonna make it tough on [us], and we’re gonna try to make it tough on them.”

James added that the Lakers have planned to get adequate rest and practice ahead of this tough matchup.

Post Edited By:Tonoy Sengupta

About the author

Siddid Dey Purkayastha

Siddid Dey Purkayastha


Siddid Dey Purkayastha is an NBA Journalist at SportsRush, covering the sports for two years. He has always been a lover of sports and considers basketball as his favorite. While he has more than 600 articles under his belt, Siddid specializes in CoreSport pieces with on-point game analysis. He is an ardent fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, since Kobe Bryant's 80-point game made him a fan of the franchise. Apart from basketball, Siddid occasionally watches soccer and takes a fancy in following up with the Premier League in his free time.

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