Why Stephen A. Smith apologized to Lakers, LeBron James after epic win vs. Clippers

Stephen A. had to backtrack some comments he made about the Lakers earlier in the week

Nobody in their sane mind would ever call Los Angeles a Clippers town. Whether they’re up, down, or right smack dab in the middle of the standings, the Lakers are and will always be the kings in Los Angeles like the Kings are kings in Sacramento. Make sense?
In the same breath, nobody can look at the objective data and claim that over the last decade, the little brother Clippers haven’t “big brothered” the Lakers. Going into the 2023-24 season, the Clips had won 36 of the last 43 games versus the Lakers. The last time the Lakers won a season series against their in-town rival, Donald Sterling still owned the Clippers and Dr. Jerry Buss was running the Lakeshow. Vinny Del Negro and Mike Brown were the head coaches of the teams, Chris Paul was playing his first season in Los Angeles, and Dwight Howard had yet to be traded to the Lakers.

Heading into Wednesday night’s game at Crypto.com Arena, the Lakers had their opportunity to win the season series for the first time since 2012. They were up 2-1 for the season, but that wouldn’t stop ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith from claiming that the Clippers were going to, “bust their a**” earlier in the week.

The Clippers led by 21 points in the opening minute of the 4th quarter, making Stephen A. look like the smartest man on the First Take set, but then, as has been the case so many times over the last two decades, LeBron James happened. In his 21st season in the NBA, LeBron scored 19 of his game-high 34 points in the 4th quarter, outscoring the Clippers all by himself (19-16), and turning a Clippers “home game” into one that more closely resembled a Lakers home game. And he even made the ultra-stubborn Stephen A. Smith, dressed in a suit that looks like an Easter Sunday tablecloth, cough up an apology on live television.

“There is no getting around the greatness of LeBron James. On this particular morning, I have to stand down,” Stephen A started, “and sit up there and pay homage and give major, major props to the one and only LeBron James. I apologize.”

When will folks learn that LeBron James is not to be trifled with or doubted? Do people still think it’s 2006, when the “LeBron isn’t clutch” argument still had even the tiniest bit of merit left? How many points does he need to score, titles does he need to win, or comeback wins does he need to orchestrate before one of the greatest athletes to ever live gets the respect he’s due?