JJ Redick is still very much in game shape even though he’s retired from hoops. Reddick went toe to toe with Stephen A. Smith.
On Tuesday’s episode of ESPN’s First Take, Redick defended LeBron James against Stephen A. Smith, who claimed that the definite future hall-of-famer “has never been feared” by opposing players.
“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 Stephen A.
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"
— 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.”
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“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 just like Jordan.
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 pic.twitter.com/QurJrmsazU
— 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.”
Check out some of the more reactions to JJ’s dominance 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… https://t.co/yCiwVflDz5
— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) November 23, 2021
Stephen A gonna get him banned https://t.co/i2L38M8NQd
— Reece (@20pcLP) 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 pic.twitter.com/Gfoz6M7rdN
— 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”
— Lakeshow Daily (Mamba Forever) (@PlayoffBrow) November 23, 2021
— @SidePatchSey (@sYsSey1) November 23, 2021
JJ Redick gonna fix NBA talk or get sent to the graveyard shift trying
— Cut James Johnson Please (@PaulTweetz2Much) November 23, 2021
JJ might get the Max Kellerman treatment after that dominant performance.