Stephen A . Smith Defends “Snitching” On Russell Westbrook To NBA

Stephen A. Smith was accused of being a “snitch” after he called the NBA on Russell Westbrook. In his opinion, the league didn’t properly penalize Westbrook for his “inexcusable behavior” in the Los Angeles Clippers’ Game 3 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

During Game 3, Westbrook snapped, seemingly reacting to the Clippers being blown out. The California native then took his anger out on Mav’s star player, Luka Doncic. He began swinging his body around and then attempting to shove him to the ground. Westbrook then shoved Doncic’s teammate, P.J. Washington. The two got tangled up before they were eventually ejected.

The contentious figure described Westbrook’s actions as “appalling” and felt that proper action was needed. So, he called the league’s offices. On Sunday (April 28), Stephen A. admitted that he called the NBA’s offices live on ESPN. He explained that he wanted to know why Westbrook was merely ejected from the game and didn’t suffer more consequences.

“Inexcusable behavior, that’s what I saw, and I don’t know why this isn’t being talked about enough, to be quite honest with you,” he told the cast of NBA Countdown of Tipoff. “I was of the mindset that Russell Westbrook deserved to be suspended for today’s game. That’s how appalling his game was… What he did the last game, I want you to go back and see what transpired in Game 3. Look at this foul right here. You knocked a guy clear upside the head.”

“You sit up there and you come down on Luka Doncic in the back, that play right there, you could have separated his shoulder. Then you push him in the chest, then you go after P.J. — even though P.J. shoved you in the back — and then you’re shrugging off the referee. I felt so serious about this fellas, I called the league office and I said ‘I need an explanation. Tell me why Russell Westbrook wasn’t suspended.'”

Smith explained that the NBA felt his actions weren’t worth a suspension. The main factor in the decision was that his actions took place during the playoffs. However, if Russell had done the same thing in the regular season, he would’ve been suspended, no question.

“I was told that the officials gave their report, and every indication in writing that they provided said we handled this. He got a couple of technicals, plus a flagrant 1, plus he was ejected, plus no one was injured. So we took all those things into consideration and that’s why we didn’t suspend him. And I stood down, I said ‘that makes total sense, I’m glad.’ But they said ‘if it had been in the regular season, the likelihood is that they might have had a different decision.’ But! It’s the playoffs, and because of how important it is, you can’t just do that.”

Fans began calling Smith a “snitch” for his actions. Voices across X/Twitter were confused by Stephen going so far as calling the NBA to get answers as to why Westbrook wasn’t suspended. They asserted that he was attempting to get the Clippers player in trouble and knocked out of the series.

Gillie Da Kid took to his Instagram Story to vent his frustrations with Smith’s remarks. “Listen to this sh*t, why would you call the league office? You don’t work for the NBA!” Gillie said in the clip. “So you tried to get ni**as suspended for a game? You don’t work for the league! F**k you calling the league for? Steve, I f**k with you, but that’s some rizzy sh*t.”

“Stephen A callin’ the league office on Russell Westbrook is truly some of the nastiest sh*t we’ve seen from him,” another account said.

Jalen Rose, former ESPN pundit and NBA player, called out anonymous “media coons” around the same time. “Since Day 1, I’m so grateful that I chose to put on for my Culture ride or die vs being a media Coon,” he typed. “It doesn’t pay as much or always get historic views, but living in & having my hometown on my driver’s license is undefeated. Blessed.”

Other people defended Smith’s actions. One account stated that as a journalist, this is what the First Take host is supposed to do. “Gillie misunderstood. He called the league office for clarification on why he wasn’t suspended, and he called to tell them to suspend him. Stephen comes from a reporter background, he’s a journalist. This is the problem with podcast ppl, they don’t understand how legacy media works at all smh,” he expressed.

Stephen A. Smith caught wind of the claims and his actions. Simply put, the talking head explained that he’s a journalist—it’s his job to call and get more answers.

“I said it. And I damn sure meant it because of his play on Friday. Knowing the league office would’ve normally suspended anyone for this, I called to ask why this was different. They explained& I get it. For those tripping that I called the league, it’s my damn job!,” he explained on Twitter. “All of us who cover the league called the league office all the time. Podcasters may not. Some pundits may not. But those of us who’ve reported throughout our careers REPORT and get verification. That is what we do!”

As for the Mavs and the Clips, the two teams faced off on Sunday for Game 4. The Los Angeles Clippers blew a 31-point lead as Dallas came roaring back. However, Paul George sealed the deal against the squad to win the game 116-111. The series is now tied 2-2. Game 5 is set to go down on Wednesday (May 2) at 10 PM EST.

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