Former NBA player J.J. Redick continues to bring fresh insight and perspective to ESPN’s “First Take” and Monday, New Orleans Pelican C.J. McCollum joined him on set to call out Stephen A. Smith for Smith’s latest comments on Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook attended the Lakers’ press conference introducing new head coach Darvin Ham Monday, but Smith criticized Westbrook’s attendance.
“Him being at that press conference yesterday, actually to me, I didn’t like it. And the reason I didn’t like it was because you know yes you’re still a member of the Lakers but we all know everybody’s been talking about what the Lakers need to do when it comes to Russell Westbrook,” said Smith.
.@stephenasmith doesn’t think the Lakers can win a championship as presently constructed.
“I think as long as LeBron James and Anthony Davis are healthy, you can overcome it enough to be a playoff team. But that’s about the height of my expectations for the Los Angeles Lakers.” pic.twitter.com/67VTveWqwe
— First Take (@FirstTake) June 7, 2022
Smith then explained why Westbrook was a bad fit for LA, and the team was good enough to make the playoffs but not win it all.
Redick and McCollum immediately called out Smith for his remarks and asked the veteran media personality to explain himself, which left Smith visibly flustered.
“You said a random, random take, and then you explained a bunch of things about Russell Westbrook that had nothing to do with that take. So, I want clarification. What is your issue with Russell Westbrook being at that news conference,” asked Reddick.
Here's the full conversation where CJ & JJ called Stephen A out on Russ being at Darvin Ham's press conference pic.twitter.com/asTCb4miTt
— CJ Fogler AKA Perc70 #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) June 7, 2022
McCollum then jumped into the conversation.
“Run the tape. We got a tape? That’s what you said,” said McCollum as Smith began to defend his stance. “You said that he shouldn’t have been at the press conference, which is foul.”
“The Lakers organization has been talking about moving Russell Westbrook,” said Smith. “There are question marks as to whether he’s going to be a part of the team.”
Host Molly Qerim pointed out that Westbrook was currently part of the team.
When Reddick asked Smith if he wanted to take back his comments, Smith declined.
Hopefully, McCollum and Redick will be invited back to share their player perspective on “First Take.”