Stephen A. Smith Abstains from ‘GOAT’ Conversation Despite Giving LeBron James the “Greatest Compliment”

Published 12/08/2023, 7:21 PM EST

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In the 21st season, LeBron James is transforming the definition of being an NBA superstar. Luckily, it seems like he has chosen the In Season Tournament to display the same. Throughout the Los Angeles Lakers‘ undefeated run in the tourney, James has ensured the team’s success and delivered a 30-piece whenever necessary; four out of the six games. Now, the Lakers vie for the NBA Cup as they advance to the final stage against the Indiana Pacers.

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As James continues to carve his legacy, several league superstars find themselves unable to progress beyond the tournament’s group stages. As a result, one of James’ most vocal critics has pivoted to express nothing but admiration for his unmatched domination.

Stephen A. Smith puts LeBron James in a different column altogether

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While bashing the New Orleans Pelicans, Stephen A. Smith displayed heightened appreciation for LeBron James. Maintaining his pedestal for Michael Jordan, Smith expressed what he claimed was the “greatest compliment” he could for James. In light of James’ readiness for shining moments and continuous display of greatness, Smith said,

“It’s gotten to a point where I literally am siding with you JJ from the standpoint. We don’t even need to have this discussion[the GOAT debate]. The level of greatness that this man [LeBron James] continues to put on display, the level of appreciation that we all should have for him, warrants us not having this discussion.”

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Furthermore, Smith advised that rather than engaging in endless debates, the best one can do, as lovers of the game, is to witness the greatness James showers us with.

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Smith still has the same views on Anthony Davis

In the semifinal clash against the Pelicans, LeBron James delivered a stunning performance, scoring 30 points, providing eight assists, and grabbing five rebounds in the Lakers’ dominant 133-89 victory. Remarkably, he achieved this feat in just 23 minutes of play.

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Post-game, Stephen A. Smith and other analysts were seen dissecting the match. However, as they praised the brilliance of the Lakers, Stephen A. couldn’t resist his usual style of consistently critiquing Anthony Davis.

While lavishing praise on LeBron, he raised questions about the younger players on the roster. In his typical fashion, he not only criticized their game shape but also expressed doubts about Anthony Davis’ season-long health and performance.

Nevertheless, Anthony Davis remains a vital contributor to the Lakers’ In-Season Tournament campaign. Furthermore, he has consistently posted double figures in points and rebounds, playing a key role in securing the team’s fourth spot in the Conference standings.

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Additionally, Davis has stepped up on occasions when LeBron James faced challenges on the court. Despite his commendable performances, it appears that Smith is still looking for that extra something from AD before extending his overall praise.

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Written by:

Saahil Dhillan

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“Places you go in life – it opens your eyes up and you kind of understand who you are.” - This is my philosophy in life. I want to go to innumerable places and get inspired by the people and experiences I come across, just like Dwayne Wade.
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Edited by:

Vishav

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