Stephen A. Smith Passionately Argues He Could Score a Bucket on LeBron James

December 9, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; ESPN broadcaster Stephen A. Smith.
December 9, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; ESPN broadcaster Stephen A. Smith. / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

Let's start this article off with a little tale of the tape.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, in his 21-year, world-historical NBA career: 27.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game to go with four MVP awards and 20 All-Star appearances.

Stephen A. Smith, in his abbreviated college career at Division II Winston-Salem State: 1.5 points per game.

Without disrespecting the Rams—who gave the basketball world Hall of Fame guard Earl Monroe—there's no contest here. So of course Smith suggested Thursday that he could score on James in a hypothetical first-to-100 one-on-one game where James spotted him 99 points.

"You're trying to say if I'm trying to get to 100 and they're gonna give me 99, I can't make one damn shot?" Smith asked.

His fellow panelists cracked up, peppering him with questions about how, precisely, he intended to score on James.

"I can make one shot!" he insisted. "One! One!"

Former NBA guard Tim Legler was particularly adamant that Smith would have trouble even attempting a shot if James and Smith played a traditional, playground one-on-one game.

"Honestly, man, I love you," Legler said. "I don't know how you're going to get a clean shot off."

Patrick Andres


Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.