Radio Row in Atlanta for Super Bowl 53 has produced many great interviews thus far, but maybe none greater than Stephen A. Smith’s interview with Gary and Larry Friday afternoon. Stephen A. discussed Demarcus Cousins’ immediate impact on the Warriors and how he was wrong about the superstar center about how he’d fit in with the defending NBA Champs.
With the return of Demarcus Cousins, the Warriors rode an 11-game winning streak into a match-up with the Philadelphia 76er’s Thursday night, where the Warriors suffered their first loss since the Cousin’s debut. But now that a fully healthy Warriors team had added even more elite talent, they look like the team that swept the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2018 NBA Finals.
“I think Boston and Toronto can give them a run for their money”, Smith said of the Warriors. “Obviously, you can’t guard Steph Curry one-on-one, you can’t guard Klay Thompson one-on-one. You damn sure can’t guard Kevin Durant one-on-one and to a lesser degree even Boogie Cousins. What you can do is potentially make them into a two-point scoring team, instead of a three-point scoring team.”
Stephen A. admitted that he himself doubted Demarcus Cousins ability to return from his Achilles injury before Spring.
“Boogie Cousins has fit in tremendously well, I certainly owe him an apology.” Smith said. “I was told there’s no way he can come back before March or early April from that Achilles tear. For him to be back as early as January 18th and for him to have performed as well as he’s performed in the little minutes he has, it’s a testament to him as a basketball player.”
When the Warriors signed Cousins, there were questions raised about how another superstar would fit in with a team that was already full of superstars. Cousins is known for having a strong personality, and some people thought his personality might clash with an established locker room.
“He was considered somewhat of an abrasive personality, but look how well he gels with that team, its a tribute to him, its a tribute to Steve Kerr, its a tribute to that organization and definitely to the leadership of Steph Curry who everybody loves and should want to play with.”
Stephen A. was also asked about his recent feud with Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. Recently Derek Carr took offense to comments made by Stephen A. Smith and co-host Max Kellerman when they critiqued is play on the field in 2018.
😂it’s because I blocked them both for talking trash about our team. Those 2 clowns don’t know anything about this game. Would love to actually sit and break down film with these two on tv just to show their viewers how incompetent (lacking qualification) they are about our game.
— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) January 23, 2019
“Yes, Max Kellerman questioned his football character, said he looked like he quit,” Smith said. “You can call it a show, you can call it what you want to, but I mean what the hell I say. I wasn’t playing games, I don’t get personal. I’m looking at Derek Carr and I’m saying that he isn’t performing and the Raiders aren’t performing.”
Its unlikely his tweets were actually serious, but Carr took it a step further and seemed to have challenged the two First Take hosts to a fight
@ufc @danawhite hey how do I challenge a couple of these clowns on tv to a fight? I think we should start a business together. Where pro athletes can challenge some of these people to an octagon fight until they give us an answer…. You don’t know me… stop lying.
— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) January 23, 2019
“Heres the two things that absolutely pissed me off with what he said. First, Max said that about him, but he tweeted about both of us, I had nothing to do with that. Second, when he went on the show the next morning with Golic and Wingo and brought up his kids, that really ticked me off.
Carr was also concerned that his kids would see him being critiqued on national television. Stephen A. Smith was angry over these comments because Carr brought his journalistic approach into question.
“In other words, you’re implying that we’re on the air and we want your kids to be watching and we’re thinking about your kids when we’re critiquing what you do,” Smith said. “That’s a low-blow, you’re a professional athlete, you get paid to perform. By Derek Carr’s philosophy, did you know that if you’re not in practice and watching film, if you’re talking about him, you’re insulting his kids?”
The feud between First Take and Derek Carr is far from over, and it doesn’t sound like Stephen A. Smith and Carr will have any sort of relationship in the future.
“We ain’t here to be friends.” Smith said. “I can assure you that Derek Carr will not be having Thanksgiving dinner with me, nor will we exchange Christmas gifts. I won’t give a damn, I respect what you do and what you don’t do. If you don’t get it done I’m going to call it like that, if you do get it done, I’m going to give you credit.
“Don’t bring your kids into the equation, don’t do that. You’re a professional athlete, if you want people to leave you alone, go perform in a closet. Go be an accountant or a lawyer or somebody where nobody is watching you work. We have a right to critique your game without you getting all personal about it.”