Stephen A. Smith Doubles Down on Kyrie Criticism: ‘I Don’t Think Kobe Bryant Would Be Happy.’

Kyrie Irving

Getty Kobe Bryant embraces Kyrie Irving post-game at the Staples Center.

Last week Stephen A. Smith had some harsh words for Kyrie Irving regarding his refusal to talk to the media. “I think he’s immature, I think that he’s occasionally selfish, and I think at this particular moment in time, he comes off as a damn snob,” said Smith. 

Kyrie Finally Addresses The Media

Both Kyrie and the Brooklyn Nets were fined $25k each for Irving not participating in media availability which led to Irving posting an Instagram message in which he seemed to refer to the media as ‘pawns’. On Monday Kyrie addressed the media for the first time this season and clarified that his post was not specifically directed towards members of the media. “It’s really just about how I felt about the mistreatment of certain artists when we get to a certain platform of when we make decisions within our lives to have full control and ownership … We want to perform in a secure and protected space,” said Kyrie.

Stephen A. Smith Doubles Down on His Criticism

On a recent episode of ESPN First Take, Stephen A. doubled down on his criticism of Kyrie. “Somebody Kyrie respected, loved, and idolized was Kobe Bryant. I don’t think Kobe Bryant would be happy,” said Smith.

Stephen A. & Max react to Kyrie Irving speaking to the media | First TakeStephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman react to Kyrie Irving speaking to the media, where the Brooklyn Nets star addressed his "I do not talk to pawns" comments. #FirstTake #NBA ✔️ Subscribe to ESPN+plus.espn.com/ ✔️ Get the ESPN App: espn.com/espn/apps/espn ✔️ Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: es.pn/SUBSCRIBEtoYOUTUBE ✔️ Subscribe to NBA on ESPN on YouTube:…2020-12-15T17:46:25Z

“What you could never dispute about Kobe Bryant is that you didn’t understand what he was saying. He was very clear in his message. The issue with Kyrie Irving is not only does he not appear to be clear but also he’s taking it to levels that it doesn’t need to be taken. You wanted to make sure there were no distractions. What possible distraction did you expect on media day to start an NBA season? Obviously, people are there to talk to you about basketball.”

Kyrie Had A Close Relationship With Kobe

Kobe, who will be posthumously inducted into the Hall of Fame next year, tragically died in a helicopter crash on January 26. Kobe had a close and personal relationship with Kyrie and served as a mentor to him. Irving, who has started to try his hand in music recently, even mentions Kobe and his daughter Gianna, who also passed away in the car crash in a recently released song. Were Stephen A’s comments out of bounds?

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