ESPN First Take host Stephen A. Smith heavily criticized the actions of NBA Players Union President Chris Paul and the role he played in instigating a postgame attempt by some Houston Rockets players to enter the Clippers locker room and confront Austin Rivers on Tuesday.
During his nationally syndicated afternoon radio show, which is aired in over 250 markets across the globe, Smith continued to express his disappointment with Paul, after ripping Paul on his First Take show this morning for misrepresenting Blacks on MLK Day.
Final Take: @stephenasmith explains why Chris Paul's reported actions are a big deal ... especially on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. https://t.co/fmo0xNrCV5
Smith reiterated that Paul’s actions should be held to a higher standard due to the fact that he’s a future Hall of Famer and a prominent face of the league. Smith noted that CP3 has the intelligence, control and calm to avoid escalating any situation that began on the court, but didn’t use restraint in this instance.
“If you’re CP3...the President of the NBA Players Association, you can not find yourself in that situation. CP3 is one of the best professionals that I know. Superstar. Hall of Famer. Great man. Good guy. Role model. I’m not trying to cast any aspersions on him, but you can’t find yourself in that situation. Especially on a day that we are honoring and celebrating the life of the greatest civil rights leader we've ever known in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr...You just can’t do it. It’s a bad look.”
Smith then went on to include Colin Kaepernick into the optics. "Also mention the fact that it’s the Colin Kaepernick Era...," Smith said, "and you can’t find yourself in that situation.”
Smith says he understands why CP3 and Austin Rivers have problems. It's deeper than hoops and dates back to CP3’s Clippers days and the fact that he doesn’t have any respect for Doc Rivers, his son, Blake Griffin and that entire situation. Paul even left $200 million on the table to get away from L.A., Smith said.
Maybe things had been brewing and these guys had to get it off of their chests. Smith doesn't have a problem with that. He just doesn’t like the way CP3 got down on a day when we should be promoting non-violence, unity and the principles of Martin Luther King.