Stephen A. Smith takes aim at Knicks president Leon Rose


Not even Kevin Durant’s explosive request to be shipped out of Brooklyn could bring media coverage to the New York Knickerbockers or save the team’s suits from the wrath of Stephen A. Smith.

Smith’s ESPN (NBA Today) analysis of Durant’s Thursday move should have sucked all the oxygen out of his Rage Cage, but SAS, recovering from recent shoulder surgery, was still throwing heat during an appearance on “The Michael Kay Show” from 98.7. Yes, this was SAS using the team’s flagship radio station as a platform to launch a verbal attack on Knicks president Leon Rose.

Now that’s cheeky. Among other complaints, Smith questioned the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of Jalen Brunson (he wondered if Mavs boss Mark Cuban had a problem with that). Smith also said that Knicks president Leon Rose is “hidden like a thief, never seen by anyone.”


Near the end of an interview with Don La Greca and Peter Rosenberg, which focused on Durant and Kyrie Irving, Rosenberg asked Smith if he was “feeling good” about signing Brunson. Smith quickly said “no,” but admitted that Brunson would be “a good fit” for the Knicks. He then dropped the hammer on Rose, a guy he’s “known for many years.”

“Words cannot express how disappointed I am with the work you are doing at this time,” SAS said. “You are the president of basketball operations. You spoke to the media in September [then] Nobody sees you again until April. And when you do that interview, it was for Dolan’s internal media organization. [MSG Network with Mike Breen conducting the session]. You don’t know what the hell is going on with Leon Rose… Who’s the boss? What’s your address?

Smith said he would ask Rose about the circumstances surrounding the Brunson acquisition; how the deck was stacked in favor of the Knicks. SAS resorted to the tangled web theory and mentioned how Rose’s son Sam represents Jalen Brunson. Leon Rose represented Brunson when he was an agent. Additionally, Brunson’s father, Rick, a former Knick, recently joined Tom Thibodeau’s staff.

“Why didn’t you hire him?” [Rick Brunson] last season? Or two years ago? Why would you go out and hire him a month before his son arrives? Smith asked. “Do you have any idea what that looks like? There’s a little family affair, but is it a big basketball decision? Because what we see is a bunch of guys looking out for each other.”

Smith, or anyone else, is unlikely to get answers to their questions. Rose seems to prefer printed, painted-by-numbers missives that don’t answer questions, like the one he issued after the Knicks’ decision to hoard draft picks rather than make a pick during the recent NBA Draft.

”… Seeing Leon Rose, the president of basketball operations, hiding like a thief, never seen by anyone, never to answer questions. Never to account for the New York Knicks,” SAS said. “That’s why I’m not very happy.”

Smith had a solution for Rose, albeit an unlikely one.

“Talk to us. Tell us what you’re doing,” Smith said. “Stand up and validate. Show us that you’re willing to be responsible. Because if you don’t do that, do you know who you are? James Dolan.

Do we really need another?

Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network can lead the NBA in removing promotions designed to promote big ratings magnets. First it was Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Now it will probably be Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving who will be sanitized from the YES featured department. Which leads us to ask: How will YES promote the 2022-23 Nets? “Plucked or Famine? Tune in to see who we have on the big swap, only on YES? And how will the YES voices treat Irving (whether he stays or leaves)? Will they call him out for his laissez-faire attitude? Or give him a pass like they did most of last season?

WFAN’s Evan Roberts, on the Nets’ flagship radio station, blamed owner Joseph Tsai for the Nets’ dysfunction and the mess they find themselves in. Roberts (did you know he’s a Nets fan?) got emotional and may have gone too far when he said, “The owner is broke.” Unless Roberts can prove it, that’s a pretty strong charge. Nevertheless, the rhythm continued. Roberts continued to criticize Tsai, saying, “I would do anything to put Joe Tsai out of the basketball business.” Can we safely say that Roberts doesn’t think much of Tsai’s acclaimed business acumen?

For those who enjoy the SNY documentary, “He’s Keith Hernandez,” there’s more original Mexican content on the horizon. SNY cameras will follow Hernández on July 9, the day his No. 17 will be retired. The intention is to produce a half-hour program on what will be an emotional day for Hernández, his family and the fans who supported him. throughout the years. And all those years were narrated with a lot of soul and emotion in “He’s Keith Hernandez”. The producers packed a lot into 45 minutes. One highlight was a rare interview with former Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog, 90, who said he didn’t want to trade Hernandez to the Mets. Hernandez has maintained that Herzog wanted him out of St. Looie. The document gained credibility by reporting on the 1985 Pittsburgh grand jury investigation into cocaine use by Major League Baseball players. Hernandez testified during that investigation.

Tiki Barber flew solo last week on FAN. With plenty of time to fill, Barber covered some interesting areas, like streaming. The former Giants running back had his share of ups and downs in the business, but he was still inclined to share his thoughts with listeners. On ESPN’s Troy Aikman/Joe Buck: “When I listen to Buck and Aikman I get lost in their rhetoric.” On Tom Brady: “I’d be surprised if Tom Brady is any good at it.” [the Fox NFL analyst gig]. To me, he’s not a talker.” On the new voice of YES, Cameron Maybin: “He’s sincere and he’s not trying to sound like a broadcaster.” … After previously being defeated by JJ Redick on ESPN’s “First Take,” Christopher (Mad Dog) Russo met Anthony (Booger) McFarland, a highly skilled operator. McFarland had obviously scouted Russo. “When you can’t win an argument, you try to switch to another. I know. I’ve been watching you.” McFarland also chided Doggie for not doing his homework on whether Dak Prescott is in the top echelon of NFL quarterbacks. McFarland: “You’re in New York, maybe the internet isn’t working.” … Included in YES’s New York Emmy Award nominations in the sports analyst category are Nets analysts Sarah Kustok, Frank Isola and reporter Michael Grady If they win, will they single out Durant/Irving “for being so cooperative”?

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