Stephen A Smith and JJ Redick got into a passionate debate about whether or not LeBron James is feared on the same level as Michael Jordan.
Stephen A Smith has been a passionate Jordan truther, consistently favoring the Bulls legend over LeBron in GOAT debates. The ESPN star has often attempted to illustrate the differences between how LeBron James and Michael Jordan are perceived.
However, he’s often been guilty of tangentially bringing the GOAT debates into unrelated topics. Stephen A is rebuked by viewers for this very issue with the otherwise very entertaining First Take show.
This very thing happened once again on this morning’s edition. It featured JJ Redick as the guest of the show. The agenda was supposed to be reacting to the suspensions handed out to LeBron and Isaiah Stewart.
But instead, you got a very even-pitched version of Stephen A linking LeBron’s perception to the GOAT debate.
“In my estimation, from the people that I’ve spoken to covering the league, [LeBron] has never been feared. … With LeBron, you believe you can take him. You believe he can be had.”
— First Take (@FirstTake) November 23, 2021
Stephen A Smith and JJ Redick go back and forth about how much LeBron James is feared in the NBA
JJ Redick’s addition to First Take has added a previously absent dimension to the popular morning talk show. The 15-year NBA veteran brings a wealth of inside knowledge about the league in addition to his basketball brain.
Redick himself was plainly shocked at how easily Stephen A segued from the suspensions to the perception of LeBron around the league, saying at one point – “I don’t know whether to believe you believe what you’re saying.”
It is clear that James is feared at least on the same tier as Jordan and Kobe, at least to the average viewer.
There are a few plainly biased or uninformed people who talk a lot about killer instinct on the court. These are usually the type to dismiss LeBron’s achievements in the playoffs – even the fact that he holds the record for playoff buzzer-beating game winners.
The only accurate measurement of an athlete’s talent can be gleaned through their competitors. Certainly not from laymen like SAS.