Stephen A. Smith and Russell Westbrook have had quite the back-and-forth this week. On Tuesday morning, the host of First Take criticized the Washington Wizards point guard for his lack of a championship, after he posted a historic stat line of 35 points, 21 rebounds and 14 assists on Monday night.
On Wednesday, the ESPN host doubled down on his stance about the Washington Wizards point guard, despite getting responses from Westbrook and his wife, Nina.
“I stand by everything that I said yesterday,” Smith said on First Take on Wednesday.
“Go back and look specifically about what I’ve said about Russell Westbrook, not just yesterday, but his track record,” Smith continued. “This is a sensational athlete, the most athletic point guard in the history of basketball, destined for the Hall of Fame. I’ve said all of those things. But you’ve come up short.”
Smith did make plainly clear that he has no issue with Russell Westbrook as a human being and was only being critical of his lack of success on the basketball court.
“Russell Westbrook is one of the most real, authentic people you will ever see in your life. I respect the hell out of the man,” Smith said. “What does that have to do with your game?”
My full response to Russell and Nina Westbrook. pic.twitter.com/L4Af14a5KH
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) March 31, 2021
Smith’s latest response comes after Westbrook clapped back at the host’s original comments on Tuesday night, following the Wizards loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
“I sit back, I don’t say much. I don’t like to go back and forth about people,” Westbrook said. “But one thing I won’t allow to happen anymore is let people create narratives and constantly talking s**t for no reason about me because I lay it on the line every night. And I use my platform to be able to help people all across the world.
“Nobody can take that away from me. I’ve been blessed to be able to have a platform to do it. A championship won’t change my life. I’m happy. I was a champion once I made it to the NBA. I grew up in the streets. I’m a champion. I don’t have to be an NBA champion.”
Reactions to Smith’s take have varied. Some NBA fans clearly see where he’s coming from, considering Westbrook hasn’t been able to break through and win a championship. Others have had a problem with the timing of the criticism when it came after one of the 32-year-old’s best career performances.
All Stephen A said was “we know Westbrook can put up stats, I want to see him win” and people are acting like he disrespected his entire family tree 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
— LebronJamesHarden™️ (@LBJamesHarden) March 31, 2021
Russell Westbrook next time he sees Stephen A Smith pic.twitter.com/ZdDCiQWYTy
— Rich (@UptownDCRich) March 31, 2021
Stephen A Monday: Players need to stop chasing rings.
Stephen A Tuesday: When are y’all gonna win a title and stop putting up numbers pic.twitter.com/ClSpuDCKpq
— J (@Jordan53039415) March 31, 2021
Stephen A Smith is just an NBA twitter troll with his own show
— 💫 (@letdaIvincook) March 31, 2021
After Smith’s latest response, it’s unlikely we’ll hear from Russell Westbrook again on the matter. All the 32-year-old, nine-time All Star can do is prove himself on the court by trying to elevate his Wizards into the playoff picture.
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