Even though it’s been more than 12 hours since Ayesha Curry sent out a tweet that featured her referring to the NBA as “rigged,” people are still talking about what she said on Twitter on Thursday night following Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Twitter users started going in on her almost immediately after her tweet went up, and though she took it down later and issued an apology of sorts, it didn’t stop people from continuing to talk about it. It had nothing to do with the actual game itself, but it has become one of the biggest storylines to come out of Game 6, simply because Ayesha has become so polarizing in sports circles.
On Friday morning, Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless took a few minutes to discuss the controversy that Ayesha caused on ESPN First Take, and while talking about it, Stephen A. seemed to compare Steph Curry’s wife to LeBron James’ wife Savannah. Stephen A. stopped short of saying Ayesha should act more like Savannah, but he suggested that, by staying out of the spotlight, Savannah doesn’t bring any negative attention to LeBron.
Stephen A. started off his argument by saying this about Savannah:
If that was Savannah, LeBron’s wife, if that were Gloria, LeBron’s mother, what would we be saying? LeBron James has a mom and has a wife and has kids, great guy, an even greater ambassador of the game of basketball than Steph Curry because he’s done it over the test of time, a wonderful beautiful father, and I got news for you: As beautiful as everybody wants to say Ayesha Curry is—and she is—Savannah is something special. I’m here to tell you something right now. Ain’t a man alive, particularly a black man, that’s going to look at LeBron’s wife and not say that that woman's gorgeous. She’s wonderful inside and out. She sits there and she doesn’t bring any attention to herself. She never tweets and goes out there and calls out the league and stuff like that and nobody is more scrutinized than her husband. But yet, she thinks about how she represents him, and as a result, she doesn’t do that.
The discussion then continued with a back-and-forth between Stephen A. and Skip. Here is a transcript of a portion of the conversation Stephen A., Skip, and First Take host Molly Qerim had with regards to Savannah and Ayesha so you can read exactly what was said:
Skip: You know Savannah in ways I don’t know her, because I can’t see her.
Stephen A.: Wonderful woman.
Skip: LeBron protects her from the spotlight. She’s out of sight and, mostly, out of mind for me because she’s not front and center. That’s by design, I’m pretty sure, by King James.
Stephen A.: Let me answer that: Wrong. Savannah is not like that at all. LeBron doesn’t have to protect her. She doesn’t put herself in those positions. She’s at practically every home game. Every time I’m in Cleveland, just like when I was in Miami, I saw her at every game. Everyone knows who she is. She sits in the same place. She’s at every game, and she’s just as pleasant as you can be.
Skip: I see Steph’s parents and Steph’s wife constantly. I never see Savannah on television.
Stephen A.: That’s where I’m going. I’m asking you: Why is that? [Savannah] sits in the same location. When she was in Miami, she would sit in seats near Gabrielle Union, who was there obviously supporting Dwyane Wade. Everybody knows where she is. But she’s quiet, she’s unassuming, she doesn’t bother, she stays in her lane, she plays her position. She is LeBron’s wife, and anything that she says or does can fall back on him. She is protective of her man.
Skip: Don’t you think that’s come from LeBron? Not that he’s ordered it, but he’s made her aware that you have to be careful.
Stephen A.: Doesn’t have to. Seriously, I got a big mouth. My mother is one of the quietest people on the planet. Certain people are like that. Savannah doesn’t want the attention.
Skip: I want to defend Steph’s wife here, because she was standing by her man and I appreciate that. I get what you’re saying. You have to be careful. We see so many Twitter victims, and maybe in this case she was, because you can’t let your emotions run amuck. It’s what Coach Herm Edwards always says: ‘Don’t hit send. Think twice before you hit send.’ She had just gone through what she called a tactic and it may have been. The whole traveling party, all the family, got stuck on a bus. It’s possible because Jay Z and Beyoncé were ahead of them and it stalled the entrance into the back of the arena. The point is I think they were a little late for tipoff. You told me they were right on time, but I think she indicated they missed a little bit of the first [part] of the game. She called it a possible tactic on the part of the Cavaliers, just to mess with their minds. But she’s emotional and overly emotional already, and then…
Stephen A.: That’s all I’m saying. That’s my point right there, which you just made. My point is she’s a wonderful young lady with an incredibly promising future. They’re a wonderful family. I’m not going to sit up here and negatively talk about somebody’s wife. I don’t know know this woman. She seems to be an absolutely wonderful, wonderful person. But when you’re out there tweeting and stuff like that, Skip, I would say this to any lady who is the lady of a man: If you are doing that, you are thinking about yourself and not him, and that puts him in a comprising or potentially precarious position. I believe you have an obligation to look out for your man like that.
Skip: I got it, but I was with her in spirit. What she was reacting to after all the stress she had been through, including her father, as she said, being profiled. I didn’t have a big issue with it.
Stephen A.: Molly, I don’t know what your comments are, but I would say that’s not the first time or the second time or the 10th time that Ayesha has tweeted, and when you tweet a lot, you’re not just Ayesha Curry. You are Steph Curry’s wife. Period.
Molly: Maybe she thinks that’s how she’s defending him. All I can say is every relationship is different and every personality and everyone handles every couple’s social media differently. We do have to go to break.
Twitter immediately wondered what Stephen A. was trying to get at by comparing Savannah and Ayesha:
And within just minutes of Stephen A. making the comparison, Ayesha actually chimed in on the conversation by sending out her first tweet since Thursday night:
That led to Stephen A. addressing her tweet a few minutes later (welcome to 2016!), and he said that his intention wasn’t to compare Savannah and Ayesha but rather to tell Ayesha why she needs to be more mindful about what she tweets:
“What I am trying to explain to you Mrs. Ayesha Curry is that it’s not me, it’s you,” he said. “Because what happens is is when you’re out there tweeting and saying the things you’re saying, you are putting your husband in a precarious situation. And I’m saying, if that were LeBron James and his wife, it would have been treated differently.”
And this, of course, amused all of the First Take viewers out there:
Ayesha hasn't responded to what Stephen A. said yet. But at this point, that's probably for the best. Can't we all just move on? Please? There's a Game 7 to be played!