Stephen A. Smith claims prominent 'salty' figures in the NBA against LeBron James' podcast - "Black coaches took issue"

Stephen A. Smith makes audacious claim about LeBron James
Stephen A. Smith makes audacious claim about LeBron James' latest venture: "Black coaches took issue with podcast"

Toward the end of the regular season, LeBron James decided to break into the podcasting world alongside JJ Redick. While many have enjoyed the in-depth analysis of the two hosts, one ESPN analyst cited some critics of this venture.

During Monday's episode of "First Take," Stephen A. Smith talked about LeBron starting the "Mind the Game" podcast with Redick. He said that numerous coaches didn't respond well to it because they felt it slighted Darvin Ham.

"Numerous coaches, Black coaches, called me expressing how they took issue with that podcast taking place, ..." Stephen A. said. "Some of them felt very salty about that. ...
"Because it hurt Darvin Ham."

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After getting eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, the LA Lakers decided to part ways with Ham. He spent just two years on the job, leading the team the conference finals a year prior.

As the Lakers continue to search for a replacement, LeBron James' co-host has become the key name connected to the job in rumors.

Stephen A. Smith explains pushback from LeBron James' podcast

After diving into the outreach he got regarding LeBron James’ podcast, Stephen A. Smith touched on why there was pushback. The biggest critique of the venture was the timing of it all.

When LeBron and JJ Redick announced “Mind the Game,” the LA Lakers were not in a great spot. They were in a tight battle in the Western Conference standings, and were on the brink of possibly not making the playoffs.

As the Lakers were struggling in the standings, it became more apparent that Darvin Ham was on the hot seat. According to Stephen A, this is why some coaches around the league didn’t like the timing of LeBron James starting the new show with Redick.

“Couldn’t have started it during the playoffs? Couldn’t have started it after Darvin Ham lost his job? Did you have to start it in the middle of the damn season when he’s on the hot seat,” Stephen A. continued. “That’s what some of the coaches were saying.”

Stephen A. also brought up how this whole situation looked from the beginning. He doesn’t feel LeBron James pushed Ham out for Redick, but agrees the optics of it all weren’t great.

“What am I saying is you are a person known for being mindful and cognizant of the optics. How could you possibly think that was going to look good?”

As reports have surfaced that Redick officially interviewed for the Lakers’ job, only time will tell if LeBron’s co-host is going to also be his head coach moving forward.

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Edited by Rajdeep Barman
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