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Stephen A. Smith and Jay Williams got into a heated exchange on First Take Wednesday, while discussing the recent news that Kyrie Irving would not be able to play or practice with the Brooklyn Nets and the report about Kyrie’s intentions that ensued.
Smith opened the conversation by ripping Kyrie over the report that he’s planning to sit out this season because he wants to be a “voice for the voiceless.”
“I’ve been covering the NBA now for almost 25 years,” Smith says. “This is some of the stupidest nonsense I’ve ever seen. Just flat-out stupid.”
After Smith clarified that he’s not calling Irving “stupid,” but that his decisions make him look stupid, Williams responded by saying he agrees that everyone should be vaccinated, but when you “call people stupid,” you run the risk of ostracizing people and creating a different narrative.
“I’m just telling you how it feels from people, Stephen A. When you start calling people ‘stupid,’ or you start saying that they’re selfish, these things start going all over the internet, that creates a different narrative and people start fighting back against that narrative,” Williams said. “I’m just telling you how it is on the other side, Stephen A. I know you have your thoughts and how you see things…”
Stephen A. then got more passionate, emphasizing that Irving chose to be a part of this team and so he needs to take responsibility for what comes with his job.”We’re talking about a basketball player who signed on to play for the Brooklyn Nets that has left his team hanging,” he argued.
Williams goes on to say that he’s not saying he agrees with Kyrie’s decision, but he respects his right to be able to choose what he wants to do, which Stephen A. vehemently disagrees with because it’s Irving’s job to be available to play.
“That’s his own personal decision,” Willaims added. “He’s choosing to do that, for him. And when you go through an unprecedented time in the history of this country, you have your own individual right to make your own decision about what you want to do for you and your family. I just respect that right, I’m not saying I agree with that right. I respect it.”
Watch their heated exchange below.