“All of you acting like this could be an insult.” Stephen A Smith admits LeBron James’ ‘Boys’ gave his opinion on the most infamous debate of all time

Stephen A Smith Admits LeBron James' 'Boys' Hit His Line About Not Having LBJ Over Michael Jordan As The GOAT

Stephen A. Smith recently shed light on the consequences of the infamous greatest of all time, aka GOAT debate in the NBA.

He outlined how his preference for Michael Jordan over LeBron James in the pecking order led to a series of concerns.

During his latest appearance on CNN, the 56-year-old shed light on how LBJ’s ‘boys’ continued to hit his line because of his choice.

Initially, Smith discussed the thankless aspect of a sports analyst’s job with the co-host, Charles Barkley.

They explained how even slight criticism of a player resulted in the involvement of his close ones.

According to them, it could lead to the NBA star’s friends, family members, and agent questioning the opinion of an analyst.

Smith further elaborated on the matter shedding light on James’ ranking in his GOAT list as a reference.

 “I don’t have him as the GOAT. His boys, I say, “Y’all act like that’s an insult”. [They say] “It is an insult”.

I have him as number two in the history of the game that started in 1947 and because I don’t have him as number one, it’s an insult,” he mentioned.

Following that, the sports commentator pointed out the reasons behind these impulsive reactions. Smith stated how television figures’ opinions could majorly impact the public perception of an athlete.

This in turn might hamper the brand value of the player, somewhat justifying the concerns of his close circle.

It is a bit hard to blame any athlete’s close circle for defending them when someone with great influence has publicly criticized them.

After all, while every critic of an NBA athlete has their own critics, there will also be those who will use snippets of these analysts’ words to try and justify a far more obtuse point they may have about a player.

Given this fact, Smith clearly understands the impact he has the potential to make every time he goes on the air, and hence, doesn’t seem to hold it against athletes’ inner circles too much.

That said, he was also sure to criticize them for forgetting the good things he also said about the athlete, sometimes even when it came in the very same segment.

Amidst the preference of Stephen A. Smith, Charles Barkley adopted a different route

Contrary to Smith, Barkley previously showcased his fondness for James.

During his appearance on All The Smoke in early 2023, Chuck showered the four-time champion with serious praise.

His statement added a new layer to the GOAT debate as the 1993 MVP elaborated on his viewpoint.

“I think LeBron James is the greatest sports story of all time…For him to come into the NBA 18-year-old, he was really good…In this generation with social media, he never gotten into trouble. He has lived up to all the hype,” Barkley declared.

LeBron James had very high expectations set on him from the moment he stepped on a basketball court.

Even when he was just 18, what many demanded from him was so high, that if ‘the King’ retired as anything less than an all-time great in the history of the NBA, many would consider him a failure.

For many, this would’ve been far too high of a hurdle to even remotely consider seriously.

However, not only has James lived up to all the billing, he is now arguably the greatest player to have ever touched a basketball.

As Charles Barkley alluded to in his comments, the Lakers superstar has surpassed all expectations without a shadow of a doubt.

With the King now nearing the end of his career at the age of 39, it is high time that the NBA community does nothing more than admire him for his greatness, rather than admonish him for the smallest imperfection that remains in his game today.

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