People React to JJ Redick Firing Back at Stephen A. Smith for Claiming LeBron Has ‘Never Been Feared’ (UPDATE)

Reddick was quick to defend LeBron James against Stephen A. Smith, who claimed that the definite future hall-of-famer has never been "feared" by his opposition.

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UPDATED 11/24, 4:40 p.m. ET: JJ Redick continued to defend LeBron James, this time on his podcast channel The Old Man & The Three.

A follow-up from JJ on fearing @KingJames

— TheOldMan&TheThree (@OldManAndThree) November 24, 2021

“We, collectively as a society, have damn near tried everything to discredit or dismantle LeBron’s legacy,” Redick said on Wednesday.

“And all that guy has done is win, break records, build enterprises, build schools,” Redick added. “There’s certainly a level of respect. But for the fear factor, if you get into a playoff series with LeBron, you’re certainly fearful of who he is as a player — physically.”

He then talked about taking a charge from James, which resulted in him getting stitches. “I was standing there knowing he was going to make that spin move,” he said. “And was I standing there in fear? Abso-f*cking-lutely I was.”

See original story below.

JJ Redick may be a recently retired, but that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten what it’s like to face off against one of the greatest to ever do it. 

On Tuesday’s episode of ESPN’s First Take, Redick was quick to defend LeBron James against Stephen A. Smith, who claimed that the definite future hall-of-famer “has never been feared” by opposing players. The conversation came after LeBron’s one-game suspension, which he earned this week after a hard foul on Detroit Pistons’ Isaiah Stewart, who tried to fight James before being ejected.

“In all the years I’ve covered the league, we talk about the Jordan’s of the world, the Kobe’s of the world, people like that,” Smith said. “You saw LeBron when he first came into the league, you saw when they went to the finals, you saw when he was… taking pictures and playing around and being jovial and all that other stuff. LeBron James is too phenomenal and too great not to be incredibly respected, but 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.”

"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

A surprised Redick told Stephen A. that he was having a tough time believing that the TV personality believed what he was saying. 

JJ Reddick just told @stephenasmith, "I dont know if you actually believe what you are saying!" Then SAS tried to say, when you watch the game.. JJ said, No, I played the game, Im telling you that you are wrong"

They gonna get rid of him like Max Kellerman. #FirstTake

— HGIC (@HGIC_) November 23, 2021

“If you’re talking physical confrontation, nobody’s ever challenged LeBron like that,” JJ said. “Why would they?”

Smith hit back, starting a sentence with, “If you watched the game,” before Reddick reminded him that he actually “played the game.”

“I played against LeBron for 15 years,” Redick added. “LeBron has grown up in a completely different world [than what] existed in the ‘80s and ‘90s. There was no First Take in the ‘90s. Could you imagine, in the New York Knicks series, MJ going to Atlantic City the day before the game and coming home at 2 a.m.? Social media, this show, that’s all you would talk about for days.”

Smith then argued that it wouldn’t be the case, but Redick explained that LeBron lives in a “24-hour news cycle” and that players have a similar fear for LBJ as they did for MJ back in the day, but in a different way. 

Lool, Stephen A just tried to lie that if #FirstTake was around during Michael Jordan era they wouldn't cover MJ gambling in Atlantic City before the playoffs. 😂😂😂😂 #LeBronJames #MJ

— HGIC (@HGIC_) November 23, 2021

“To say that his peers don’t fear him, opposing coaches don’t fear him, you think people want to go into a playoff series against LeBron,” he said. “More than one, find me a player who’s attacked LeBron.”

Fans are now, for the most part, siding with JJ’s take, with some even thinking that Smith might want him permanently axed from the show, much like he did with Max Kellerman. Check out some of the more notable reactions to the exchange between Redick and Smith below.

That’s a damn lie @stephenasmith as a former player that were on multiple teams that had battled against Lebron James I beg to differ! Btw I don’t think Isaiah Thomas and those Bad Boys Piston feared Jordan. Stop it and Carry on...

— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) November 23, 2021

I know Stephen A hates when JJ Redick comes on first take, because Stephen cannot out talk basketball with him lol and i love it

— jamel morris (@jamel_morris24) November 23, 2021

Can we talk about how JJ Redick cooked Stephen A Smith. I was like they need to go to break and allow Stephen A some time to collect himself. Haha

— Ziggy Blackwell (@ZiggyBlackwell) November 23, 2021

JJ Reddick EX NBA player who played against LeBron: “LeBron is feared by his peers”

Stephen a smith who sits behind a camera “ no he isn’t”

— Playoff AD (@PlayoffBrow) November 23, 2021

Boyyy JJ Reddick had @stephenasmith

— Back2BackSey (@sYsSey1) November 23, 2021

JJ Redick gonna fix NBA talk or get sent to the graveyard shift trying

respect it

— main character (@PaulTweetz2Much) November 23, 2021

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