Stephen A. Smith and Jay Williams get snippy in epic fight against Kyrie Irving
Move over, Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe. The world of sports talk had another pair of rivalries to watch in disbelief on Monday: ESPN host Stephen A. Smith and analyst Jay Williams on “First Take.” (Watch the videos below.)
The two got personal in a snipe fest against Kyrie Irving after the Nets traded the star guard to the Dallas Mavericks. Sports Illustrated called their cranky debate “beautifully awkward television”.
“You have a lot of time to talk on this show. … What a bunch of BS you’re talking about right now!” Smith said in dismissing Williams’ complaint about her inability to make a point.
“Just because you label it BS doesn’t mean it’s BS, Stephen A. Smith,” Williams said.
Irving sparked the verbal tiff by ending another stormy tenure with an NBA team. He refused to be vaccinated and was forced to miss dozens of games last season. He promoted an anti-Semitic film on Twitter this season, which earned him a team-imposed suspension, and requested a trade last week after the Nets became contenders.
Smith was fed up – with Irving and Williams, who sometimes appeared to defend fellow Duke Irving.
Williams baited Smith further. “But it’s you who seem very emotional,” Williams said, referring to Smith’s forceful reactions to Irving. “I’m just saying how interesting it is to me; it just carries so much greater momentum especially with you, more than anyone else.
“Stop telling us what you find interesting and just tell us how you feel,” Smith shot back.
“You say, ‘I find that interesting,'” Smith continued in a high-pitched mockery of Williams’ voice. “You always say that. Say what you say. What do you say? What do you say?”
Poor Molly Qerim tried to steer the two into a more focused debate, but nothing worked. Qerim summed up Williams’ argument that Smith is too preoccupied with Irving. Smith objected and shouted that he had recently discussed football.
Williams then told Smith that he appeared to be tripped. Oh oh.
“I’m still triggered,” Smith replied.
“No, you’re not,” Williams said.
“Oh yeah, I am,” Smith replied, continuing a schoolyard-level exchange.
Qerim again tried to mediate, telling the two that she didn’t want the discussion to be personal. Williams told Smith he was getting personal about Irving.
“You more than anyone…have the nerve to tell me on national TV that I’m getting personal about a player?” said Smith. “I am passionate about the subjects that interest me.”
When Williams noted that he was the guest and Smith was the host, tempers finally cooled.
“We are all colleagues, we are all teammates,” Qerim said.
The Huffington Gt