By now, it’s almost become a custom for Stephen A. Smith to be up in arms about the Knicks’ decisions during the NBA draft.
And the longtime ESPN analyst certainly kept that yearly tradition going strong during this year’s event.
Smith was on-hand for Thursday night’s draft in Brooklyn, and had a front-row seat to witness New York enter the night with the 11th pick and end it with zero selections made following a series of moves. Judging by his epic rant toward the end of the evening, the Bronx native was, as you might expect, far from pleased.
“Speaking on behalf of New Yorkers everywhere who love the New York Knicks,” Smith began, “We are disgusted, we are annoyed, we are ticked off beyond comprehension and our eyes are wide open watching this kind of stuff happening. The talent that was in this draft tonight, there were too many impressive players, impressive potential and none of them being up a New York Knick, not one. That’s all I got to say.”
Much to the surprise of many pundits, the Knicks ended up trading No. 11, four second-rounders, and guard Kemba Walker in exchange for three future first-round picks in deals with the Pistons and Wizards. New York received conditional 2023 firsts from Detroit and Washington, as well as a top-four protected pick from Milwaukee in 2025.
Less than 24 hours after the draft, Smith, still clearly perturbed by his hometown team, continued to give the Knicks a piece of his mind during Friday’s episode of First Take. The 54-year-old even went as far as declaring he will not step foot inside Madison Square Garden until he feels better about the state of the franchise.
“I’m telling you right here, right now, I’m not going to the Garden next year. I won’t go one game,” he said. “I’m so disgusted with them, they’re not doing this to me anymore. I’m sick and tired of his nonsense…This is for my own health and my own sanity. I’m done. I’m still gonna root for them, but I can’t be in the Garden because I’m scared of what I would say to them if I saw them face-to-face.”
Smith, who is also a noted Cowboys hater, then concluded his tirade with an uncharacteristic claim: “The New York Knicks are worse than the Dallas Cowboys.”
Needless to say, it could take some time before the outspoken New Yorker (and his listeners) finds common ground with a franchise that just can’t seem to keep their fanbase happy.
More NBA Coverage:
- NBA Trade Grades: Knicks Make Risky Move
- 2022 NBA Draft: Top Five Steals
- 2022 NBA Draft: Grading Every First-Round Pick
- All Knicks: Doing It Right’: Leon Rose on Knicks Draft Day Moves
For more New York Knicks coverage, go to All Knicks.