ESPN fixture Stephen A. Smith offered an apology to one of the NBA’s star players this morning on “First Take,” reaching out to the New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony after tearing into him last week.
Smith acknowledged on today’s show that he should have checked with Anthony, who’s currently competing in Rio with Team USA, before shredding him over comments that Anthony says were taken out of context.
The issue was whether Anthony would be satisfied with three gold medals and no NBA titles. Anthony, who already has two Olympic gold medals and is currently competing for a third, was quoted saying: “I would be very happy walking away from the game knowing that I’ve given the game everything I have, knowing I played on a high level at every level: high school, college, won a championship in college, and possibly three gold medals. I can look back on it when my career is over, if I don’t have an NBA championship ring, and say I had a great career.”
Smith ripped into Anthony Friday in a clip you can watch below, saying in part, “I’ve never been more disappointed in words that come out of his mouth.” He went on to hammer Anthony for giving Knick fans “a reason to return their season tickets” — while also slamming Team USA for a disappointing performance so far in the Olympics.
Anthony later reached out to Smith — the two men are on friendly terms — and confronted him over Friday’s rant, noting that Anthony should have been given a chance to provide context. Anthony made it clear that he remains hungry for an NBA title.
On this morning’s “First Take,” Smith backtracked, admitting he failed to contact Anthony and that Anthony’s quote was taken out of context. Smith said on the show: “Had I reached out to him like I normally do, I would have gotten his perspective, and this time I did not do that. That’s on me — I gotta apologize to that man. I was wrong.”
Here’s the clip from Friday’s show in which Smith rails against Anthony’s apparent satisfaction with his gold medals and no NBA championship …
Here’s a clip from this morning that includes Smith’s apology …