Stephen A. Smith on Who He Thinks Wins Next Title: LeBron, Steph or KD


Stephen A. Smith reveals who he thinks will win a chip next out of All-Star veterans Steph Curry, LeBron James and Kevin Durant.

“Imma roll with the Warriors on this question,” Smith said on First Take. “The Warriors, I said it. I didn’t stutter, and Ima tell you why. ‘Cause I don’t think the Lakers can shoot well enough, and ultimately that’s what it’s going to come down to.”

Smith went on to explain that Durant has seen limited success in the postseason since he left Golden State after the 2019 Finals series.

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“I think Phoenix is compromised somewhat defensively,” he said. “I can’t trust them defensively, and I think that’s ultimately what it comes down to. K.D., [Devin] Booker and Bradley Beal, ‘Lethal Weapon 3’ no doubt about it, but they’ve got something to prove. I gotta to see it.

“Because I’ve got news for you: We all know how I feel about KD, one of the greatest scorers in the history of this game, a two-time champion, a two-time NBA Finals MVP. He ain’t been out of the semifinals since he left Golden State. That’s just a fact.”

The ESPN broadcaster acknowledged that if Kyrie didn’t get hurt in the 2021 playoffs against Brooklyn, then the Nets would have won the series and beaten Phoenix.

But even KD can’t compete with the baby-faced assassin’s shooting.

“Now we get to the Golden State Warriors,” Smith continued. “Steph Curry is still the greatest shooter God ever created. We saw this, latest reminder, Saturday night in that 3-point shooting contest. It’s just what he does. It’s just what he does. We’ve got that going on.

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“Jonathan Kuminga has elevated his level of play, his three-point shooting, his field-goal percentage shooting. He gets it now. And his athleticism is off the charts. Draymond Green has upped the ante. Defensively they’ve really stepped up. Klay Thompson comes off the bench for the first time in years, drops 35. He’s the key to me…”