Say what you want about Stephen A. Smith.
We all know he’s a loud opinionated, boisterous, rags-to-riches living legend from Hollis, Queens. He isn’t, however, unapologetic and he has to get some props for that.
As Knicks star Carmelo Anthony was leading Team USA to a string of tough victories over some game competitors in Rio, Smith blasted the All-Star forward and Olympic legend on First Take last week, for saying in an interview that his success in high school, at Syracuse and winning three gold medals would be a “great career” in his eyes even if he doesn't win that elusive NBA championship.
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Smith cut loose on the ringless, Olympic star without calling Melo or confirming the validity of the quote.
Today, Smith put his lipmobile in reverse and offered a public apology to Melo on his show for not reaching out personally as Smith has done with so many other stories on numerous occasions.
The following clip from Tuesday’s show portrays a somewhat remorseful Smith, who says Melo called him and got on him for not reaching out to clarify the quote before crucifying him on ESPN.
Smith didn’t have an explanation other than, “He was in Rio.” Smith did admit that it was a rough Friday night when Melo called him from Brazil to flag him for poor journalism tactics, so a word-by-word replay of the conversation between the two men probably isn’t fit for kids' ears.
Either way, Smith wins in this situation. Smith is the ultimate opportunist and a master of flipping narratives so he could of purposely not called Melo and just went with what he knew would be a hot item that day. His blasting of the Knicks star, who is leading Team USA on another gold medal run, helped Smith grab some ratings and feed the anti-NY social media machine, while reminding the world of who Carmelo Anthony real is -- a ringless warrior. Smith also suggested that Melo has given up on any championship dreams he might have had.
I’m glad Melo called Smith out on such a damning statement and it’s peace that Smith was man enough to admit that he jumped the gun. Even if he did seem to revel in the attention he received from admitting he got caught up in the moment.