Get your popcorn ready for this one — the entertainment value is glorious.
Sports Illustrated had a great opening to their article about this situation:
“In the world of professional wrestling, when someone goes off script and does or says something that wasn’t planned, it’s called a ‘shoot.'”
That’s so on point of what happened here with Stephen A. Smith and Jay Williams on the Feb. 6 edition of ESPN’s ‘First Take,’ as they got into a heated — and I’m talking about heated — debate about Kyrie Irving demanding a trade from the Brooklyn Nets, which quickly turned into an argument, which quickly got made personal.
The whole thing started when Williams accused Smith of having a personal problem with Kyrie and that’s why he’s harder on him than other figures in sports, with Williams also defending Irving on some of his actions.
Things started transitioning from a heated Kyrie Irving argument to personal quickly, as the two started giving each other shit about the time that they had to speak. Smith asked Williams if he was done speaking, which led Williams to sarcastically say, “I thank you for allowing me to speak for a minute and 30 seconds.”
And the fireworks exploded from there — in such fantastic fashion.
Serious sparks are flying between Stephen A. Smith and Jay Williams over Kyrie Irving pic.twitter.com/Cp7MaSeTQD
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) February 6, 2023
Who doesn’t love a good shoot in professional wrestling?
This whole thing reminded me of the Hulk Hogan-Vince Russo personal beef at WCW’s Bash at the Beach in 2000:
And the commentator (who I believe is Tony Schiavone, but I can’t tell) at the end hit the, “Oh my God, this is real life,” which is the perfect reaction to this argument that popped off between Stephen A. and Jay Williams.
Did you see how pissed off Stephen A. looked? This dude is such a G.
I mean, yeah, I get that guy always looks pissed off, but that man was about to go back to the streets of the Bronx on Jay Williams’ ass. Holy shit, man. This is one of the reasons why I love sports media so much and why I fell in love with it as a kid. Hell, this is why I got into it. I love how pissed off people can get off of an argument that stems from sports. (RELATED: REPORT: Kevin Durant Could Also Be Traded From Brooklyn Nets After Kyrie Irving Demand)
Absolutely brilliant off-script performance from both Stephen A. and Jay on this one — give ’em both Emmys.
As far as Kyrie is concerned, you can see my latest thoughts on him and his situation here.