"I pray for your downfall everyday Stephen A. Smith": NBA fans chastize ESPN analyst for placing Paul George and Kawhi Leonard at odds

NBA: Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers
NBA fans chastize ESPN agitator for placing Paul George and Kawhi Leonard at odds

Stephen A. Smith made a controversial comment about Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, earning a big backlash from NBA fans. PG13 joined ESPN's NBA Countdown ahead of Game 3 of the 2024 Finals and was welcomed uniquely by Smith.

Without mentioning Kawhi Leonard, Smith took a shot at the two-time NBA champion's availability for the LA Clippers with a short but direct message on national television.

"Nobody on the planet knows what it’s like to play without a star than Paul George. I'll leave it at that. Nobody knows," Smith said.

George reacted quickly and played it off.

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"Don't do that," Goerge said while he and the rest of the crew laughed.

These comments rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and many fans didn't hesitate to call out Smith for his remarks. Even actor Jamal Cristopher took offense to this situation and sent two big messages to Stephen A. Smith on X.

"You’re such a nasty person man @stephenasmith," he wrote.
"Just a terrible thing to do to make that a thing on national tv with Paul George right there just a clout chaser of the highest order I pray for your downfall everyday @stephenasmith," Cristopher said.

More fans couldn't believe what Smith just said and wondered why he had such strong feelings about Kawhi Leonard.

"Does anyone know why Stephen A hates Kawhi so much? He has for years and I didn't even know if there was an incident or if it's Stephen A's nonsense," one fan wrote.
"Stephen A’s hate for Kawhi needs to be studied," another fan said.

One fan noted that Bob Myers has called out Smith over these comments but he denies the former Warriors GM's claims.

Stephen A. Smith criticized Kawhi Leonard for wanting to play for Team USA this year

Stephen A. Smith hasn't been so fond of Kawhi Leonard, especially after this season. He called the 'Klaw' the 'absolute worst superstar' in the NBA and even called for Steve Ballmer to sabotage his participation in the 2024 Olympics.

On that note, when Smith learned about the LA Clippers star representing Team USA in the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, he went in on Leonard.

"He's not on their level as somebody who prides himself in being an ambassador for the game of basketball," Smith said in May, "Promoting the Clippers, promoting the NBA, promoting everything. And then you have the audacity to literally want to represent Team USA? You can't even represent the Clippers, 60% of the playoff games."

Stephen A. Smith's words for Kawhi Leonard haven't been kind for a while now. Clippers and Leonard fans are getting tired of that and they don't hesitate to call out the analyst.

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Edited by Krutik Jain
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