Stephen A. Smith vs. Michael Carter-Williams: Fallout from the Call Out

(NY Post)

Veteran journalist Stephen A. Smith’s latest media beef is with second year player Michael Carter-Williams.

Last week, Philadelphia 76ers point guard Michael Carter-Williams posted an essay on The Players Tribune – a website started by former New York Yankee Derek Jeter which provides an unfiltered platform for athletes to enlighten their fan base on whatever is on their mind at the time.

For Carter-Williams his mind was on being 0-7 to start the 2014-15 season and the moment last year when his team was on the cusp of losing an NBA-record 27th game in a row. Carter-Williams recalls how members of the press, most notably ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith seemed all to eager to see his team set a new mark in futility. Upon hearing Carter-Williams comments, Smith went on a rant that should make every athlete shudder.

It was all good a year ago.

I’ve read the Michael Carter-Williams/Stephen A. Smith exchange several times and come to the conclusion this is a classic case of a journalist willing to hide behind the power of the pen and will not hesitate to wreak havoc in the life of anyone who defies him.

It’s obvious Smith was offended by Carter-Williams’ name dropping, but that’s what happens when you want to be heard before you’re seen.

Here are Carter-Williams’ comments and probably what got things rolling:

“The media creates this narrative and repeats it over and over. That’s how Stephen A. Smith ends up in our locker room with a big smile on his face. I’m not picking on him. I know he’s playing a character. He knows he’s playing a character. But what happens when we break the streak by going out and beating Detroit that night? Now it’s another story. After the game, a lot of the reporters didn’t even stick around. The ones that did weren’t prepared. They didn’t ask us about the specifics of the game. They made up questions on the spot, like, “Uh, hey, you guys won … so how do you feel?” We weren’t the story anymore. They were on to the next thing. Stephen A. didn’t really stick around. I guess he had a plane to catch. Believe me, I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure he doesn’t come back for the same reason.”

Once Smith got wind of Carter-Williams’ comments, he shot back:

Smith continued on NBA Radio on SiriusXM:

Smith closes out his comments with, “You’re never going to have the last word over us,” “And you damn sure ain’t going to have the last word over me. I’m not going to start problems, but I can damn sure finish them. If these guys want to come at me, let them do it at their own peril. It will be a mistake.”

You think Smith would’ve been this bold with LeBron James or a Steve Nash?

I’ve been in the company of Stephen A. Smith a few times, and from a personal standpoint, I can’t say anything decisively good or bad about him. The problem is Smith using the power he power wields as a journalist to make threats. Journalists know the power of the pen and don’t have to make it known, whether their name is dropped by an individual or not.

Even sadder still is Smith, the accomplished journalist beefing with a second year player with enough on his plate, playing for an organization hell-bent on securing the No. 1 overall pick no, matter how mortifying the process. Sixers head coach Brett Brown’s technical foul in the final minute against the Houston Rockets last week didn’t do much for Williams column.

I found it amusing Smith closed out his Twitter tirade with the words “Wrong Brother”. This is from someone who didn’t give a damn about who was offended in the Black community about Mark Cuban’s comments on race in light of the Donald Sterling scandal to setting the ground rules on domestic violence.

With this latest episode, Smith and I can certainly agree on one thing…

Wrong Brother.


6 Responses to “Stephen A. Smith vs. Michael Carter-Williams: Fallout from the Call Out”

  1. D.N. says:

    Great read. Stephen Smith crossed several lines.

  2. CAvard says:

    *** The problem is Smith using the power he power wields as a journalist to make threats. Journalists know the power of the pen and don’t have to make it known, whether their name is dropped by an individual or not. ***

    Careful. Stephen A. may be tweeting/ranting about TSF next. 🙂

    Honestly, that observation of Stephen A. says it all.

  3. TheLastPoet says:

    The problem (one of several) is this kneegrow actually thinks somebody gives a cot-damn about anything he has to say – or that anyone is cowering in fear and afraid of reprisal after having “called him out.” What a brazenly unbelievable sense of entitlement going on under that massive forehead of his!

  4. TheLastPoet says:

    sorry for the double-post, but honestly Smith’s comments strike me as bullying. As an adult, he should know better. Let that young brother express himself and play, and leave it alone. There was no need for Smith to reply, other than to satisfy his inflated sense of himself.

    If Smith isn’t bullying here, then at the very least he is continuing a long and sad tradition of sportswriters piggybacking on the successes or the controversies of the athletes they cover ..

  5. CW says:

    yep, bullying – Good one Ron, and you are exactly right.