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June 12, 2024 57 mins

Stephen A. previews Game 3 of the NBA Finals, the Lakers Head Coaching search, and the recent ratings and attendance records for the WNBA. He also comments on the conviction of Hunter Biden, and Howard University’s decision to rescind the honorary degree of Sean P. Diddy Combs. 

On The Stephen A. Smith Show, Smith gives you his renowned point of view, breaking barriers beyond the world of sports, and tackling pertinent issues across entertainment, pop culture, society, business, and politics. Three times a week, you'll hear his LIVE unfiltered opinions on the day's biggest headlines as well as straight-shooting interviews with top celebrities, game-changers, and thought leaders across the societal arena. The Stephen A. Smith Show is sure to entertain, inform, and motivate anyone who tunes in.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:11):
What's up, everybody. Welcome to the latest edition of The
Stephnate Smiths Show, coming at you as I love to
do it a very least three times a week over
the digital airways of YouTube and of course iHeartRadio. Before
I get into anything, it's always I want to take
a moment to thank my fans, my subscribers on YouTube.
We've now eclipsed over seven hundred and two thousand subscribers,
so I can't thank y'all enough for the love and support.

(00:31):
Keep you coming, and I'm gonna keep on coming. Of
course you've been supporting me on iHeartRadio as well. Our
numbers continue to climb since we returned to the audio stratosphere.
Oh my goodness, excuse me, because we didn't have that
available to us for a few months. So thank y'all
for the support on iHeart and beyond. Keep listening to
us over the airways of iHeartMedia, and of course, like

(00:55):
I said, over the digital airways YouTube. If you want
to continue to follow this show and like the show,
click on a button right there in the right hand
corner and YouTube will be the latest member of the
stephen A. Smith Show family. There's a lot to get
into today the NBA Finals. Obviously, some of the things
that have transpired in the world, pop culture, politics and beyond.

(01:15):
At WNBA, we can't forget about that. There's a lot
of stuff to get into, but we're not going to
do any of that before I take a moment to
give props where props is due, you know, yesterday on
national television on ESPN's First Take, My day job every
weekday morning from ten am to twelve noon on the
airways of ESPN First Take. Yesterday morning, before we even

(01:40):
started the show, we took a moment to get props
to my man, Shannon Shop. Shannon Sharp recently reached a
multi year agreement with ESPN to stay on board and
to continue to contribute with First Take, as well as
doing other things. You can expect to see him at
the very least couple of days a week on First Take,

(02:01):
as is already the case. But here's the thing that
I wanted to do. I just wanted to take a
moment to give props to him, the man known as
Club Shasha himself, the man that has Nightcap with my man,
o Cho Senko and Gilbert Arenas, the man that showed
up from FS one and joined me, and I just
thought that it would be the proper thing to do

(02:24):
for me to just extend my gratitude. You know, none
of us went alone. We went together. I don't give
a damn who you see in front of the camera,
who in front of who you see in front of
the microphone. There's producers and writers and everybody else in
between behind the scenes that make things happen for me
that I always owe a debt of gratitude towards as well,

(02:47):
and the same as applicable to him, but clearly with
me being the face of first take and what have you,
I'm never shy about spreading the wealth and sharing it
because as well deserved. When I think about our lineup,
the Ryan Clarks of the world, the Marcus Spears of
the world, the Kendrick Perkins, the Jay Williams, the Tim Leglers,

(03:08):
the Dan Olobski's, the mad Dog Russo's demeanor comes, the
Kimberlee Martins, de Monica mcnutts and Andrea Carter's, the Cheney's
or Goomakay's of the world, and of course the matriarch
of the show, Molly Kiram. There's so many people that
do such outstanding work for the show, but Shannon Sharp
is on another level. What he's done for the show,

(03:29):
what he's done for me. I can't say enough about
this brother departed from FS one. I know some people
have opened their mouth, are rife with stupidity, not knowing
any of the facts, and saying, you know, stephen A,
what you're telling this business for? Why are you telling
that he was pushed out of FS one? Did it

(03:50):
ever occur to you? Because he wanted me to. He
didn't want to speak on it, but he didn't want
the truth being denied. He didn't want folks not knowing
that he was pushed out, that there was an absence
of appreciation for what he brought to the table. And
one of the reasons that I brought it up is

(04:10):
that it's not to throw shade on anybody, is to
give props where to do. I don't deserve a whole
bunch of props for bringing Shannon Shop on board. Shannon
Sharp came on board because Shannon Sharp was an asset
that I knew would work tremendously well. For first, take
his gifts, his skills, set, his hard work, his dedication,
and all of the stuff that came with it is

(04:31):
what earned that opportunity. They didn't give him anything other
than recognition for what tools and what assets he brought
to the table, and that brother showed up. And from
the day he showed up, there's never been a shortage
of energy. There's never been a shortage of passion, There's
never been a shortage of knowledge, and there damn sure

(04:53):
hasn't been a shortage of commitment. If anything, he elevated it.
And it wasn't just because he was incentive to show
what his worth was. He was also kind enough and
thoughtful enough to want to help me. And you don't
always find partners like that. You don't always find people
that dedicated and that committed not just for doing something

(05:16):
for themselves, but for also doing something for you. And
that's what Shannon Sharp did for me when he joined
First Take. He has never, not one day has he
cheated me in effort and commitment and dedication and content.
He's also covered for me for days that I had
other assignments and I needed him there holding it down.

(05:37):
The Brothers special in a lot of ways. And one
of the things that I will say that I've never
really said publicly before is that you have to understand
that a lot of us, as black men, we go
through a lot, and there's a lot of challenges, and
we got to face them head on, and we got
to pound the pavement, and we've got to have some
intestinal resolve and that ability to wake up the next

(06:00):
day and to do what the hell we got to do.
All of that is true, but I'd like y'all to
consider something because I was reading this article on Shannon
recently in a Hollywood Reporter, which was an exceptional article
on him, and he talked about being this dude. You've
got a lisp, you're a black man, you look like

(06:22):
the hulp for crying out loud. You've got public speaking
issues to work on, and things of this nature at
the time. Imagine for one second, ladies and gentlemen, especially
being born and raised in the South, what that brother
has gone through. Think about that for a second, Think
about the obstacles we all face, and then imagine what

(06:45):
he had to face. Thank God, he was an incredible
football player. He'll tell you himself, he wasn't the greatest
student in school at the time. What he had to learn.
Tell you that his great brother, the great Sterling Sharp,
how he had to make him go to this school
and what have you, because and and wasn't thinking about
all of that, and his brother made him prioritize those things,
think about what he had to go through, and think

(07:08):
about what he's had to go through in this industry.
Just for one second. I've told everybody that has asked
me about my relationship with Shannon's shop. Respect the man.
All he cares about is that you respect him. Don't
disrespect him, respect him for what he does. That's it.

(07:31):
He ain't asking for your friendship. He ain't asking you
to be a family member. He ain't asking you to
go out there and throw flowers towards him all the
damn time or anything like that. All the man has
ever wanted and has ever demanded his respect. And the
reason why our friendship has blossomed is because he knows
I respect him, because I do respect him, but also

(07:56):
got love for him. He's a good brother. He don't
bar to anybody. I'm telling you, Shannon lived his eye.
I think that he's a little weird for me. Them
damn dogs. He loves his dogs now, talks about having
their own room, talking about sleeping with them, talking about
if the dog's barking some honey, she got her day's
a number because the dog is telling them that she
ain't no good. Shannon is different, Okay, this flavors about

(08:20):
him that I do not vibe with. You understand when
they come to them damned dogs. Okay, But he's a
good brother, He really really is, and he's been good
to me, and I got a lot of love for him,
and I'm really really happy for him. He deserves every

(08:40):
penny and every every nugget of investment that ESPN has
agreed to place in him. So I just want to
say that, and I'm just happy for him and happy
he's going to be a part of the team for
years to come. He deserves it, he really really does.

(09:00):
My man club Chay Shehay in the house. Congrats, big boy,
well deserved. Let me move on to the NBA Finals,
where the series shifts to Dallas tonight for Game three
with the Mavericks sitting in the two hole. The Boston Celtics, obviously,
if you haven't been paying attention, you know they've handled
the MAVs on both ends of the court in Games
one and two pretty handily. I might add, they've handled

(09:22):
the MAVs and the change in scenery doesn't necessarily get
better for Dallas either, as the Celtics have not lost
the game on the road this postseason. Kyrie Irving has
been a no show for Dallas, and he's their only
chance to get back in the series as far as
I'm concerned, because Luca's gonna be Luca. He just needs
help from Kyrie. And if Kyrie doesn't help it, ain't
nobody else gonna stand up and help them. That's the
way I look at it. And if Kyrie doesn't do anything,

(09:44):
it's curtains for the MAVs because history is not on
this side. Did y'all know this is the ninth time
the Boston Celtics have won the first two games of
the NBA Finals. Do you know what they've done the
previous eight times they've had a two lead in the
NBA Finals, They've won and have never been forced to

(10:06):
a game seven, none of those times. So let's keep
that in mind. Kyrie Irvin has to show up. Kyrie
Irving has to figure it out. A lot of one
on one pressing a little bit being a bit extra.
But let's also understand that we got to get the
boss and Celtics a little bit of credit because they've
got size at every position. Derek White is a legit

(10:27):
six y five, so it's jew Holliday. Jalen Brown's a
legit six to seven, Jason Tatum's a legit six ' nine,
Porzingis is seven to three. Al Horford is six to eleven.
Every damn place Kyrie turns, there's a bigger, taller, longer
body on him. Not In the past. He's been able
to have his way with an abundance of opponents, but

(10:48):
rarely are their opponents where you have such defensive prowess
that you don't even have to double or trap. You
can simply switch and make sure your body is in
front of him at all times. Jason Kidd is gonna
have to figure things out. He's gonna have to figure
things out. But I also think that although primarily Kyrie

(11:08):
Irvin is the culprit when it comes to their offensive
woes in this series thus far, he ain't the only culprit.
Now you've got a PJ. Washington, my brother show up.
You were making corner threes against OKC, didn't do it
so much against Minnesota, but you didn't have to because
other people that stepped up. Kyrie had stepped up his
offensive powers in that series. We know that, and Luca

(11:29):
was Luca. There's Derek Jones. I mean, you hit one
three and then after that, there's an apb out for
you the rest of the damn game. What's up? You
got to step up, Gaffred, You've got to be more
of a presence. I'm not gonna be critical. I'm gonna
highlight the urgency for Derek Lively, the rookie, but I'm
not gonna get on him about it. I was reminded
just yesterday when talking about Derek Lively that he had

(11:52):
lost his mom right before the playoffs. I had totally
forgot he lost his mom, Okay, and I know that
I said it. I know that I said it Monday,
and I know that, please don't get me wrong, but
I forgot at the time that that's what happened. So
he loses his mom, but there's no real break series

(12:14):
one and two, and then even into the conference finals.
His real break was when they had the week off
prior to the start of the NBA Finals. That means
he had idle time. That means he had ample time
to think about the fact that with his mother passing away.
Both of his parents are gone, and he has no siblings.

(12:38):
You talk about an individual that an old likelihood is
incredibly lonely and in a dark place right now, it
probably was him. I lost my mother in twenty seventeen.
My man Tim Legler was on TV with me Tuesday
morning talking about how he lost his mother a year ago.
When you lose your mama, it weighs in your thoughts

(12:59):
and in your heart and in your mind all the time.
And the best way to deal with those things and
to fight those demons that inevitably come is preoccupying your
mind and your time. If you don't have an opportunity
to do that because you got too much idle time
on your hand, you can go to a very dark place.
I know I did, and I was forty nine approaching fifty.

(13:26):
This dude is twenty years old, twenty so he's got
to step up, he's got to find a way to overcome,
he's got to deal with it. But in the interest
of fairness, I just felt it was important to reiterate
what my point was about him and to really really

(13:48):
show a heightened level of sensitivity on a part of
all of us. Because so many people don't remember he
just lost his mind right before the start of the playoffs.
Still in all the mass better get it done and
get three, because I don't think they'll be a game
five if they don't. That's just where I'm at with it.
Let me move on to the next subject at hand,

(14:08):
because it's important that we bring this up and involves
the Los Angeles Lakers getting to them and their coaching search.
They were left hanging on Monday by Yukon head coach
Danny Hurley after he rejected a six year, seventy million
dollar contract offer from the team. The deal would have
made Hurley the sixth highest paid coach in the league,
which clearly was not enough. And this wasn't the first
time the Lakers have been down this row. Okay, just

(14:30):
five years ago, Tyron Leu and Monty Williams both rejected
offers from the team they believed because they believed the
offers were too low. So where do the Lakers go
from here? I've got a few names for you, and
I'll give those to you in a second, but here's
where I'm at with this. You're the Los Angeles Lakers
is the second largest market in the United States of America.

(14:51):
It's the highest taxed state in the Union. Damn near
thirteen percent of your income. Okay, that California sunshine, all
of that stuff. The Lakers have to stop trying to
live off of that. You know so many times. One
of my good friends, one of the people that I
talked to very very often, is the guy by the

(15:12):
name of Eric Braden. He plays the character Victor Newman
on Young and the Wrestless. He's lived in California for decades,
obviously filming that show Young and the Wrestless. And what
does he say? It's a weather tax. He jokes about
it all the time. The problem is it's not a
joke anymore. Too many people in LA are using that
as an excuse. We've got politicians as an excuse to

(15:36):
always try to raise taxes, and we've got a Los
Angeles Lakers squad looking using it as an excuse to
low ball you. Danny Hurley is a reigning, defending two
time national champion. He's universally recognized as the best coach
in college basketball. You put it out there that you
were going after him, and not only were you going

(15:57):
after him, you were gonna make it according to our
very own Adrian woljer Narowski for ESPN, You literally put
it out there that it was going to be a major,
major offer. How is it a major offer if it
would have made him the sixth highest paid coach? Hell,
the governor of Connecticut came out publicly and stated, we're

(16:20):
gonna make sure that Danny Hurley is the highest paid
coach in college basketball. Bill self at Kansas is making
over ten million, which means that he's probably Danny Hurty
is probably gonna get the eleven million from Yukon. How
could you think that's an epic offer for Danny Hurley
when you were paying Phil Jackson that more than a

(16:41):
decade ago, when you offered Mike Krzyzewski eight million, damn
near twenty years ago. What the hell is going on
with the Lakers? Are you that poor gd Buss has support,
She's got other owners involved? What the hell is this?
How do you do that? Eric Sposa just signed a

(17:03):
contract for for fifteen million, Ty Lue getting over fourteen
million for the other team in town with the Clippers,
Great Popovins getting seventeen a year, Steve Kerr's getting seventeen
million a year, what the hell is going on? How
in God's name can you justify that if you're the Lakers,

(17:26):
I mean my man, Shannon Sharp and Mike and Brian
Windrs and all of these guys I'm thinking about Yukon stores, Connecticut,
La powerful. I can't believe I didn't think off the top.
Wait a minute, this is the sixth highest paid salary
your offering. This is bad. It makes the Lakers look
very bad. It makes it look like you got financial issues.

(17:50):
It makes it look like you're ducks. Ain't in order.
So that's bad. Here's how you can make it good.
You got some candidates that I'm gonna throw out a
JJ Reddick. A lot of people hate on JJ Reddick.
Think he arrogant, Think he doesn't suffer fools much, and
you know his temperament. They wanted about that. Look, I'm

(18:11):
somebody that works with JJ Reddick. I know him a
little bit. I know he's perceived that way by a
lot of people. I also know he's real, he's authentic,
he's not fake, he's not phony. And my god, this
brother is a brilliant, smart brother. JJ Reddick I think

(18:33):
has a future in the coaching profession. And if the
Lakers were to hire him, I would do nothing but
root for him. I'm not rooting against him. I still
don't think it was right for Lebron James and him
to have a podcast together during the damn season while
Darvin here was still a coach and he was on
the hot seat. And Lebron James knew that. But that
ain't JJ Reddick's problem. That's the Lebron James problem. No

(18:56):
doubt Maverick Carter came to Lebron James thought it was
a good idea. Because Maverick Carter, Lebron James man has
a brilliant mind and obviously he likes to produce content
in television, in film. He's a visionary and it's no
knock against him. But Lebron should have known better than
doing that to Darbinham. That is not JJ Reddick's problem.
I think JJ Reddick has a chance to be a

(19:18):
great coach in the NBA someday, and I would take
a look at him. I'm not pooping that, but you know,
we ain't gonna mention coaching candidates without me mentioning my man.
Mark Jackson, Right, you know that guy that starred at
Saint John's University, that was a Rookie of the Year
for the New York Knicks that played in Indiana those years,

(19:40):
played for the Clippers too, that ultimately became a coach
and coached the Golden State Warriors. You know that brother
that coached three seasons in Golden State, took him to
the playoffs twice, finished his last season there fifty one
and thirty one on the year. His last year is
twenty and fourteen. We are a decade later and this
brother can't get a coach job in the NBA, and

(20:01):
nobody would tell us why because it clearly has nothing
to do with his competency, his knowledge about the game
of basketball. And for the record, I'm not apologizing for
it to anybody. Decisions have to be made, and the
business decisions made by ESPN and Walt Disney as their business.
But I miss my man Mark Jackson. I miss my
man Mark Jackson calling games. He's a personal friend of mine.
I've known him for decades and he's an outstanding basketball mind.

(20:26):
And to see him. Could I see him coaching in
a market like la which, by the way, he lives
out there, it would be a beautiful thing, a beautiful thing,
and I'm gonna always wish for Mark Jackson to get
another shot to be the coach. I want him in
one or two places. The Los Angeles Lakers are the
New York Knicks, and with the job that Tom Thibodeaux did,
we all know he doesn't deserve to be out of

(20:47):
New York. So if you're the Lakers, if you look
for a coach, I wouldn't mind Mark Jackson being interviews
as a candidate. That would be something that I think
could be a plus. But I'm also not gonna leave
out Jeff Van Gundy. Jeff Van Gundy coach for eleven
years in the NBA. Jeff Van Gundy took the Knicks
to the finals in ninety nine. Jeff Van Gundy coach

(21:09):
perennial playoff teams. Jeff Van Cundy is another brilliant basketball mind.
There are other candidates that you can interview. There are
all the candidates. You could give ten to eleven million
a year, make them a six highest paid coach, and
it's not throwing any shade on them. If you're the
Los Angeles Lakers, there's nothing wrong with that. But you
gotta get it together. You certainly got to be better

(21:31):
than what we're looking at right now. There's no way
around it. It's a bad look for the Lakers, and
none of us need to be shy about that. Coming up,
Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, has found
guilty on all three counts in this federal gun trial.
I'll get in and what it could mean for the
presidential election and why the hell a guilty verdict showed

(21:52):
up to begin with in my opinion, But first, things
could not be looking any better for the WNBA. I've
got some mistros or stats to break down for you.
Some of it might have to do with Caitlin Clark,
some of it might not. Stick around and see what
I'm talking about. That's coming up next right here on
the stephen A. Smithship over the digital airwaves of YouTube

(22:12):
and I Heart Radio. Okay, everybody, you know what Tom
it is. It's Tom for stephen A's weekly sports picks.
That's what it's Tom for. Okay, And man, I couldn't
be more excited right now because I'm making picks for

(22:33):
the greatest time of the year, the NBA Finals. To me,
that's the greatest time of the year. Okay, the NBA Finals.
But not only that, I'm gonna make things even more exciting.
And how am I gonna do that? By using Prize Picks.
Of course, that's how you do it, that's right. Prize
Picks is a skill based, real money daily fantasy sports
game where you select two or more players and predict

(22:53):
if they'll have more or less than their staff projections
for the game. And it's not only about the NBA Finals.
Oh hell no, it's not just about that. You can
play across any sport. You are a fan of the WNBA,
Minor League, Baseball, National Hockey League, Tennis, even MMA. Okay,
And if you go to Prospects dot com right now
and use promo code says you receive a one hundred
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(23:17):
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gonna repeat myself. Go to Prospects dot com typing my
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one hundred dollars. And if you visit the app today
you'll be able to check out my picks. You won't
miss that, all right. So now let's look at my
winning picks, because they usually are winning picks, all right,
Jalen Brown. Are the Boston Celtics more or less than

(23:37):
twenty one and a half points? I'm gonna say less,
but not because of him. I think the focal point
will be getting Jason Tatum a bit more involved. I
think Jayson Tatum on the road will be a bit
more aggressive. The Boston Celtics are undefeated on the road
this postseason. I think you'll see Jason Tatum trying to
come out of his doldrumps. Of course, Jrew Holliday, Jaylen Brown,
Derek White, all of these guys will get this shots.

(23:59):
Let's not forget about Porzingis, who's hobbled. We don't know
how healthy he'll be for this game. But the bottom
line is, I think it's gonna be about Tatum more
so than anybody else in this particular game. I think
that it's gonna be less than twenty one and a
half points for Jaylen Brown. How about twenty to twenty
one points, that's probably what he'll score. Okay, let's get
to the next one. Jason Tatum, I just explain to
you what that situation is gonna be more or less

(24:19):
than twenty five and a half points. I'm gonna go
with more. Jason Tatum is gonna be looking to be
ultra aggressive. He knows that he hasn't been himself in
these first two games. I think he answers the call.
Not in a spectacular fash where he drops forty or
fifty or something like that, but could I see him
getting twenty five to thirty in this game, game three
in a row in Dallas for the NBA Finals. Yeah,

(24:41):
I can see Jayson Tatum doing that. He's skilled enough
to pull that off. I'm gonna go with more for
Jason Tatum on this particular one. Next one, Kyrie Irvin
more or less than twenty three and a half points? Hell, yes,
we're going with more. He better score more than twenty
three and a half points. He's Kyrie Irvin. He's desperately needed.
He's got to get loose. This whole crowd, Dallas rufer,
He's got to get loose. Kyrie Irvin has got to

(25:03):
step up, y'all. He's got to get it done. He's
got to be big time, make no mistake about it.
And I think this is the game he shows us.
He reminds us who the hell he is and what
he's made up, because if he doesn't and Luca continues
not to have any help, Boston's gonna be up three
to zero and this series is gonna be over, might
be via a sweep. So we can't sleep on any

(25:23):
of that, right, We've got to pay attention to all
of that. Last, but not least Luka Doncik more or
less than thirty two and a half points. The brothers
a superstar, y'all. He's Box Office, his name is in
bright Lights. He knows he's the marquee, and he answers
the call. Chest contusion doesn't matter, sore leg doesn't matter,
fatigued doesn't matter. This brother does it. Even last game

(25:48):
he was messed up, he had a triple double. He
answers the call again on his home turf, Luka Doncik
shows up, he answers the call, and he's gonna score
more than thirty two and a half points this game.
So you heard what I said. Less on Brown, more
on Tatum, more on Kyrie, more on Dan Jack. That's
where I'm at with it, and I believe I'm right.
We'll find out come game three. Welcome back to Steve

(26:18):
Lee Smith Fiel right here over the digital areas of YouTube,
and of course iHeartRadio. Before I get into my next subject,
I want to piggyback off of where I left off
in regards to the Los Angeles Lakers. I'm not really
into conspiracy theories and stuff like that, and I'm not
trying to be now, but I just want to throw
something out out there to y'all to consider. You did

(26:40):
hear me mention that ty lu got fourteen million? Right?
Remember that? You didn't hear me say that, didn't you?
I ruh? If you're the Los Angeles Lakers, why would
you come to Danny Hurley with just eleven million? Why
would you do that? Is it because you didn't want

(27:02):
to look like you caved, so you make an offer
that you know, in all likelihood he'd probably reject. And
that way when you went the route of a JJ Reddick,
if indeed that's what you choose to do, it doesn't
look like you just capitulated to Lebron James that instead
you had your own coaching search, your own your own guy,

(27:23):
and you just threw that. Is it possible? What did
KG say? Kevin Garnett? Anything's possible? Remember that? Is it?
I'm just saying, as I really sit back and think
about this and conjure up some thoughts as to why

(27:48):
arguably the most storied franchise in basketball annals the Boss
and somethings and now of Los Angeles Lakers, why you
would come to a guy that's a raigning two time
national champion and offer him a salary and a contract
that five other people get paid more than him with.

(28:12):
I'm just wondering. I'm just wondering. I don't know how
that makes any sense. Steve Current seventeen million, Great Popper
for seventeen million, Eric e. Sposure fifteen sixteen million, Ty
lou At fourteen million, Monty Williams at thirty thirteen million

(28:34):
in Detroit, Why would you offer this guy that you
had to know he'd probably turn it down. Just the
food for thought. It's food for thought. Let me move on, okay,

(28:55):
because I want to highlight what can arguably stated as
a new golden era of women's professional basketball. It's because
the WNBA announced yesterday that the first month of the
season drew its highest attendance since the league's second season
in nineteen ninety eight. In addition to that, the WNBA
is now seeing the best television ratings in its history.
The surgeon popularity for the league can be directly tied

(29:15):
to the new rookie class led by Indiana's Kitlan Clark,
Chicago's Angel Reese, and Los Angeles' Cameron Brink. All three
ladies drew big crowds playing in college and are consistently
trending on social media. On top of all of that,
Get this what get this one, y'all. WNBA merchandise sales
rose two hundred and thirty six percent from the same

(29:37):
period last year, with Clark, Rees, and Brink jerseys ranking
in the top five for jersey sales during the first
week of the season. Here's what I love about this.
The fact that those three Clark, Rees and Brink all
have jerseys ranking in the top five speaks to what
Andrew Rees said that Caitlin Clark ain't the only person
being watched. So that is validation Angel Rees, and we

(30:00):
need to point that out. But we all know when
we talk about ratings, were talking about Kaitlyn Clark, right,
You do know that, right? Because think about it this way,
the operative word is median media. N Keep this in mind,
ladies and gentlemen. Lebron James is making fifty million. Okay,

(30:25):
somebody else on the Lakers is making two. That's twenty six.
That's twenty six. But there's a huge discrepancy. So if
you attack it and you look at the Lakers payroll
and it's said fifty two million, that's what you're thinking about.

(30:47):
Fifty two million. You ain't thinking about one guy getting
fifty But it's a fact that can't be ignored. Either
recent break or no joke. They got futures in this league.
This popular He's gonna come with that. But the bottom
line is Caitlin Clark's the one. You know, the one

(31:08):
with the twenty eight million dollar endorsement due you know,
the one that highly contributed to record ratings for the
w NBA Draft two point four four to six million
to be exact. You know the one that opened the
season and it was the largest open the season double
header ratings in WNBA history. You know the one that

(31:29):
goes to Arena and there was four thousand people there,
but then she showed up it with seventeen thousand. Know that,
this is why I made a big stink about her
not being on Team USA. You want to sit up
there and again I understand the merits. I've had Hall
of Famous calling me making the argument on the part
of Andrea Carter who was on the show with me
Monday and was talking to me about y'o. It's about merit.

(31:52):
You gotta show up there. She'll be there four years
from now. I get that. I get that, I get that,
But you know what come to me when you care
as much about people being screwed. The biggest screwover in
the history of Olympic competition is a toss up between
Isaiah Thomas being denied entry. Actually I say that's number one,

(32:17):
when he wasn't placed on the original Dream Team and
John Stockton was picked ahead of him just because he
wasn't liked, because everybody knew his basketball credentis warranted. That.
The other side to that, ladies and gentlemen, was Roy
Jones Junior being robbed in the Olympics of an Olympic
gold medal. Remember that that was it Highway robberies. It's

(32:39):
not the first time, it won't be the last. Politics
played decisions. Corporate America plays decisions, Madison Avenue and Marketing
plays plays roles in these decisions. Because it's about the
almighty dollar and what's gonna fill those coffers. I'm not

(33:00):
sitting there and saying you replace Asia Wilson with Katelyn Clark.
I'm saying you got twelve folks on the roster. One
of them couldn't come off of this girl. And oh,
by the way, Chelsea Gray still injured. Dianas ARROSSI you
already got about three gold medals. Sure you could find
a spot for Kaitlin Clark. Sure, just asking, just asking.

(33:26):
Let me move on to this next subject here, because
I had to touch on this. I want to take
a moment to talk about professional soccer, or football as
it's known in Europe. In an historic move, three Valencia

(33:47):
soccer fans were sentenced to eight months in prison after
pleading guilty to insulting Real Madrid's forward Venincius Junior with
racial slur. It's the first conviction for racism related cases
in professional soccer in Spain. The fans were detained in

(34:07):
May twenty twenty three after a match between Real Madrid
and Valencia was temporarily stopped due to racial slurs. The
incident sparked an outpouring of support for Venincius, who months
earlier broke down in tears while talking about the racist
insults he endured in Spain. After the conviction, let me
read to you what he tweeted. Many asked me to

(34:32):
ignore it. Many others said that my fight was in vain.
Now I should just play football. But as I've always said,
I am not a victim of racism. I am a
tormentor of racist The first criminal conviction in the history
of Spain is not for me, It's for all black people.
May other racists be afraid, ashamed and hide in the shadows.

(34:56):
Otherwise I'll be here to collect. Thank you to and
rather Madrid for helping with this historic conviction. More to
come now. The fans whose names were not released were
found guilty of a crime against moral integrity with the
aggravating circumstance of discrimination based on racist motives. They will

(35:16):
not be allowed to enter soccer stadiums for two years
and must pay for all court proceedings. I don't want
to use the word happy justice was served. You have

(35:38):
some despicable, disgusting human beings all over the world, and
Venicius speaking up and speaking out the way that he
did is admirable. He's somebody we should all appreciate and admire.
I'm thankful for him. I'm a bit conflicted on a

(35:59):
couple of front. Number one, I'm sad to know that
racism extends far beyond the corridors of America. Always knew it,
of course, but it's just sad that somebody's over in
Spain and you're hearing about racist slurs. But it goes

(36:23):
a step further when he talked about them going into hiding,
and they should be very afraid. And that's a danger
because when you're allowed to hide, you're allowed to disguise
and cover, which means that your motives and the conditions

(36:45):
that exist within your heart aren't compelled to change because
the devoid of exposure that worries me. That concerns me,
and I'll tell you why, because I've encountered, obviously in
an ordinate amount of racist in my day. I don't

(37:06):
believe that every person that's white is racist. I don't
believe that bigotry reigned supreme. I think that a lot
of people are like that, but not most and not all.
Having said that, I often think about what one white

(37:27):
racist looked me in my face and told me decades ago.
The world is changing some of us will be quiet
about it, but that serves our benefit because the longer
we get to live in the shadows, the longer we

(37:48):
can do the things that we want to do without
ever having to be accountable for it. He looked at
me on my face and told me that obviously he
was it with a few other white folks, so that
was something he could get away with. But it always

(38:08):
struck me. And when he didn't realize is that I
wasn't angry about it. I appreciated the heads up because
the more enlightened we are about what lurks behind the shadows,
the more we're prepared to deal with it, even when
it isn't visible enough for us to point it out.

(38:33):
It like elevates our sixth sense, and I don't mind
that at all. Chance favors the prepared mind. If you're
prepared for what inevitably may come your way, albeit by
the few, not the many, not most, you're better equipped

(38:56):
to deal with the adverse circumstances it may create. Maintain
your composure and do what you can to get through
the day and live to fight another moment. So I
don't know if I agree with him about pushing folks
into the shadows and into hiding. I don't know if
that ultimately benefits black folks in the long run, who

(39:21):
are destined to experience racism, but I get that his
heart was in the right place, and I appreciate him
saying that this sentencing by the courts in Spain is
a victory for all black people because he's acknowledging he
wasn't just thinking about himself. He was thinking about us
all and that is always a beautiful thing. Coming up,

(39:45):
President Joe Biden's son, Hunters A. Biden, found guilty of
three felonies, not one, not two, but three felonies. I'll
get into that in a moment. Don't go anywhere more
to Steven as Mitchell coming your way now. I just
want to take a moment to make sure everyone knows
my favorite time of the year is happening right now, y'all.

(40:05):
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pick more pick less. Guess what, y'all, it's really, really,
really that easy. Welcome back to Steven A. Smith Show

(41:13):
right here over the digital airways of YouTube and iHeartRadio.
Let me get it to I don't even consider this politics,
but in an essence, it is because of what's going
on in regard to the President's sun Hunter Biden Please earlier, earlier,
Tuesday morning, President Biden's son, Hunter Biden, was found guilty
of three felony counts tied to a handgun purchase he

(41:37):
made at twenty eighteen while using narcotics. The trial is
the first involving the offspring of a sitting president. The charges,
which include lying on a federal screening form about drug use,
lying to a gun dealer, and possessing the gun, could
carry a maximum sentence of twenty five years in prison.
Now that sentence is unlikely, as Hunter Biden as a

(42:01):
first time non violent offender. As for President Biden, who's
running for reelection, you know he's been candid aby his
son struggles with addiction. Of course, earlier, he told ABC
News he would not interfere in his son's federal trial
if convicted, and he would not offer him a pardon.
Hunter Biden still faces a federal trial in September for
allegedly avoiding taxes in California. By the way, Hunter could

(42:24):
have resolved both the gun and tax chargers without prison time,
but a plea deal with his attorneys fell apart last summer. See,
certain things need to be said, So I'm gonna say it. Okay,
I'm totally with President Biden and saying, I'm not gonna

(42:45):
part in my son. If my son had all his
faculties in order, wasn't inebriated, didn't have an addiction issue
or anything like that. Okay, Dan, you just a slam ball,
and I'm not pardoning you at all. But if my
son was an addict and a recovering addict and prune

(43:12):
to dare I say questionable decisions because of his addiction
that if I'm the president, I gotta admit, y'all, I'm
gonna parton him. I'm gonna part hi under that first
time non violent offender. See that's the that's the bullshit
of politics, because you know you saying that if you

(43:33):
Joe Biden, because that's politically expedient. Now, no, no, I'm
not apologizing for supporting my son who's got an addiction.
Now again, you don't have an addiction and you're just
a lawless individual, then my compassion for you is gonna
dissipate dramatically. But if you have an addiction, whish he

(43:54):
clearly had compassion is order for the day. To me,
I don't think the president should be saying that. It
ain't like he gonna lose votes because of it. Independence
or hard leftists or progressives ain't gonna vote against Joe
Biden because of son like that. Remember remember when I

(44:16):
came to the defense of Chris Cuomo with the whole
thing with his brother. I was like, this, that's his brother.
Your brother says he's innocent, You believe him, you support
your brother. You gotta apologize for that. That was my thinking.
You're saying, so, I mean, I think like that, you

(44:36):
got a child, Your child is an addict cocaine, crack, alcohol,
I mean, damn you know. Yeah, yeah, they might tease him.
You might have people on the right going off about
Hunter Biden, right, but they always showed him being a
bit inebriated, whether it's drugs, alcohol, So clearly he was

(45:00):
not in his right state of mind. I think that
cause for compassion. Last time I checked, I thought that's
what this world was about. Didn't we say compassion? Don't
we talk about that all the time. Don't we talk
about second chances? That's where I'm coming from. So if again,
if he wasn't addict, and the president was open about

(45:24):
his son's problems with addiction, I think that caused for
a little compassion on the part of the president when
it comes to his son. That's what I think. Having
said that, are we really surprised at what happened? Do
y'all know that Hunter Biden's conviction. Do y'all know that

(45:44):
didn't really take place yesterday? They didn't tell y'all, Oh,
this is a couple of weeks ago, that brother was
convicted before this, He ain't get convicted Tuesday morning. He
got convicted the day Donald Trump got convicted. The day
that happened, They're like, Oh, we're gonna get his ass.

(46:06):
You can't argue that it's politicized on one side, but
then thinking they're gonna be politicized on the other side.
Why you think the Republicans came out and they apported
the justice system. They weren't applauding it a couple of
weeks ago, they say, they were saying it was rigged.
So now that Hunter body and got his okay, fairness, fairness, fairness,

(46:30):
because it's all being politicized at this moment in time,
just like they found a way to parlay that into
trying to convince folks that this might affect votes for Trump.
They're gonna find a way to do it as it
pretends to, how it might affect votes for body. By
the way, three weeks or less than three weeks before
a debate between him and Trump. It's scheduled to take

(46:52):
place about three weeks and two days from now. They
full of no body. This is what it is. Here's
the bad part. Politicization of the justice system is scary

(47:13):
because now we're not talking about what's right and wrong,
what's fair and just. We're talking about which side has
the power to flex and manipulate its muscle to invoke
the kind of pain, the kind of punitive damage they

(47:35):
may be inclined to implement. That's what we're talking about here.
When our system gets to that point. If the politicians
in trouble, what kind of trouble you think the rest
of us are in, think about it. Calls can be made,

(48:00):
Minds can be manipulated and influenced. Initially, according to reports,
the jury was split fifty to fifty on convicting Hunter Biden.
Day one. Day two, they came back e eleven to
one in favor of a conviction. Remember, jury of your peers,
it must be unanimous to convict. It took them was

(48:26):
it three days to get to a conviction. We don't
know what happened. I'm not here to tell you. I
know what I'm saying to you is that one of
the first thoughts that came to my mind right on
this show when Trump was convicted on those thirty four

(48:47):
felony counts, all class E felonies, which essentially are tabit
more than the misdemeanor that people believe will not equate
in their jail time. The second that happened, I said,
there's no way Hunter Biden could get off, because if
Hunter Biden gets off after Trump is convicted, it will

(49:07):
be nothing but chaos, because it would be further evidence
that in other in folks minds that the system is rigged.
You almost had to convict Hunter Biden the minute Trump
was convicted. I'm not telling you I got any inside
information or anything like that. I'm just talking to you
about an average citizen looking out there and seeing what

(49:28):
I saw, who didn't know that was coming, who didn't
know that was coming. Here's the last thing that's coming.
How much you want to make a bet that President
Biden changes his mind and does pardon Hunter Biden while
also this happening that Judge in July. He ain't gonna

(49:54):
give Trump any jail time. Trump is the present of
GOP nominee. Who will the official GOP nominee four days
later after the supposed July eleventh court hearing sentencing hearing,
He's gonna be the GOP nominee. He ain't going to jail.
In my opinion, he's not going to jail. And if

(50:17):
he ain't going to jail, Hunter Biden ain't going to jail.
Nobody goes to jail, but taxpayer dollars are paid on
all of this, and it's supposed to be a felony,
and it's supposed to be a felony, and the gun
charges and and and while on narcotics and all of
this other stuff. Anybody going to jail. The suckers are us.

(50:45):
The suckers are us. Last point before I get on
out of here for today, gotta move on to this.
Can't end the show without touching on this subject. I
gotta quickly touch on Sean pdd Combs. As more organizations
continue to separate themselves from what can only be termed
now the disgraced music mogul, The latest was Howard University

(51:08):
and historically Black College University in HBCU, whose board of
trustees voted unanimously last week to revoke the honorary degree
given to him in twenty fourteen. The university also made
the decision to return colmb's one million dollar contribution and
terminate a one million dollar pledge agreement from the Shawn
Combs Foundation. The board of trustees issued this statement about

(51:30):
its decision. Quote, Mister Combs's behavior as captain in a
recently released video is so fundamentally incompatible with Howard University's
core values and beliefs that he is deemed no longer
worthy to hold the institution's highest honor. It ain't about
applauding anybody, including Howard. It's about recognizing the necessity of

(51:53):
this move. You disassociate yourself from people who are found
to be guilty. I'm not talking about the court of public,
court of law. I'm talking about what we saw a video.
You cannot associate yourself with somebody who would do what
p did he did. I'm not here to excoriate the

(52:15):
man and anything like that, but what he did to
his girlfriend, Cassie Venturro was criminal. It was not only disgraceful,
it was criminal and the LAPD basically said, the only
reason we couldn't prosecute is as is because it's a
statute of limitation on that kind of stuff. And it

(52:37):
happened years ago. It was vicious, it was a lot,
and he said that his behavior on that video was inexcusable,
no excuses, et cetera, et cetera. I'm gonna go a
step further. I've seen no one in the hip hop

(53:00):
community come to his defense at all, even before the
video came out. Before the video came out, it was
allegations of sex trafficking, There was allegations of assault, since
allegations of rape whatever, Nobody, nobody. Just the other day

(53:25):
we talked about Will Smith, We talked about him with
the whole Chris Rock incident. But what did we never
fail to say that we've never seen anything like it.
Will Smith is a good brother with an exceptional reputation
whose behavior that night was incredibly uncharacteristic, in a complete

(53:48):
aberration from anything we've known him to be. So when
his boy Charlie Mack and others talked about Grace, you
can understand where they're coming from. When you talk about
the people he's employed, when you talk about the things
he's doing, when you talk about his love for Martin
Lawrence and vice versa. When you talk about all of
these things, there is a thousand times more good than

(54:10):
bad with Will Smith. Nobody says anything about Diddy. Nobody, nobody.
I mean again, before the video was exposed by CNN,
before any of us knew that happened, when we just

(54:32):
heard the allegations, when we saw Homeland Security raid his
homes in Miami and Los Angeles, nobody spoke up for him.
And now we not only have Howard University in HBCU
disassociating themselves from him and confiscating an honorary doctorate they

(54:56):
gave to him figuratively speaking, of course, they gave back
the money. And I'm here to tell you, even though
Howard's endowment is significant, especially compared to any other HBCU
out there, but certainly nothing in comparison to Ivy League schools,

(55:20):
a million dollars is a million dollars, and a million
dollar commitment is a million dollar commitment. And for them
to say we ain't messing with you, we want nothing
to do with you, you know what it is. You

(55:42):
could call it bad, You could call it worse. This
is what I call it the end, whether he's in
jail or not, whether he tries to resurrect his music
career not, because there's always a way to make money,
especially with what he does for a living. Here is

(56:06):
the reality. A music mogul who is a product, endorser
and beyond now finds himself with folks on all levels
wanting absolutely positively nothing to do with him. I never

(56:33):
thought of my wildest dreams that that day would arrive
for somebody's brilliant. It's talented, it's omnipotent, and it's tenacious
as P Diddy, But it has lesson for us all

(56:55):
Mind our manners, mind our behavior, God, our names and reputations,
and our families and our loved ones, with everything we have,
because you never know when it can be gone. Just
like that. That's it for this edition of The Stephen A.
Smith Show. I gotta get on out of here. Game
three of the NBA Finals is tonight in Dallas, Texas.

(57:17):
I got some work to do, but I'll be back
in a couple of days. Until then, Peace of love, everybody,
God bless. Stephen A. Smith Show Out
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