Stephen A. Smith plays multiple roles at ESPN.
An experienced journalist with established NBA connections built over the course of years in the business, occasionally, Smith acts as a reporter.
But mostly he’s a loud-mouth and a Knicks fan. And that’s the hat he wore on Sunday as he watched alongside the rest of the world of NBA fandom as the Knicks swung hard and missed in their efforts to become relevant via NBA free agency.
Pre-lottery dreams crushed
Prior to the NBA lottery, Knicks fans had dreams of a lineup that could potentially include Zion Williamson, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
[Free agency updates: Keep track of the moves, rumors, cap space and more]
After dropping to the third pick in the draft and missing out on Sunday’s marquee free agency deals, Knicks fans will have to settle for RJ Barrett, Julius Randle and Taj Gibson.
Rival Nets score big instead
And they’ll do so while watching Irving and Durant (eventually) suit up for the suddenly relevant crosstown Brooklyn Nets.
It’s not exactly the scenario chief executive James Dolan and the Knicks dreamt up when they dealt Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks during the season in an effort to clear up cap space for the free agency bonanza.
It’s a hugely disappointing free agency haul, one that prompted a team statement from the Knicks and a Twitter meltdown from Smith.
SAS: ‘Years of mediocrity’
“Lifelong Knick fan. Years of mediocrity. I thought this was gonna be it,” Smith said before going into a detailed diatribe about the Knicks failures as a franchise.
“Porzingis can’t be gone, and we don’t get KD and we don’t get Kyrie. No way! This can’t happen!”
It did happen. And Smith is furious. And, as a Knicks fan, he should be.
That was a rant on his personal Twitter account. But he couldn’t withhold his rage even in an official capacity with ESPN.
— ESPN (@espn) July 1, 2019
‘I’m so done’
“I’m so done with them right now,” Smith said when asked about the prospect of Bobby Portis and Reggie Bullock joining the Knicks.
Smith is often outraged in his role as an ESPN talking head, much of it contrived as an integral part of his brand.
But we don’t blame him for being genuinely furious on Sunday.
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