Stephen A. Smith took a moment this week to weigh in on Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard’s sister being sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Over the weekend Smith went on a rant after it came out that Leonard was once again out with an injury and would miss L.A.’s two home games in their first-round playoff series against the Phoenix Suns.
Kawhi Leonard should be on the list of one of the worst superstars this game has ever seen pic.twitter.com/t5L12zdGQA
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) April 21, 2023
“Kawhi Leonard should be on the list of one of the worst superstars this game has ever seen,” Smith said on his show.
“That’s right, I said it. Because anybody that watches basketball knows I’m obviously not talking about his skills. We know the brother is big time. We know that as a talent, he’s a superstar. One who shows up, when he plays, I’m talking about in terms of his performance, performs in the postseason arguably better than he performs in the regular season. He is that dude.
“But when you talk about a superstar that is unreliable, I want somebody to point me out somebody more flagrant than him. You’re load-managing him all through the season, all through the season, he takes every perk imaginable.”
Shortly following Smith’s diatribe, news emerged that Leonard’s sister had been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole over her role in the killing of an 84-year-old woman.
That prompted Smith to come back and offer this thoughts on the matter once again.
“I said some things last week about Kawhi Leonard as a superstar. I meant every word of it. Having said all that, I said it unaware of some of the personal things his family has gotten into. I had no knowledge of that at the time.”
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 24, 2023
“You know, I said some things on this show last week about Kawhi Leonard as a superstar,” he said.
“I meant every word of it,” Smith said on First Take. Having said all of that, I said it unaware of some of the personal things his family has gotten into. I had no knowledge of that at the time that I said it.
“Otherwise, obviously, I would not have said it. It still has nothing to do with it, doesn’t change my opinion. I was just talking about him as a marketable star. But nevertheless, that subject would have been saved for another day had I known that.”
Leonard is a major star both within and outside the basketball community. Between his interactions with female fans sitting courtside, unique style and general way of being, he is a legitimate cultural icon.
Gotta love the XFL. https://t.co/D9LK4AGFnf
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 24, 2023
That said, it’s hard to dispute that he has been a disappointment for the Clippers. They have invested a lot of time and money in the hopes that he would be able to play well in this year’s playoffs, and yet his squad is once again on the verge of their season ending early.
Personal family issues aside, facts are facts – the Kawhi Leonard Era in Los Angeles has been a dud.
Obviously Smith didn’t want to be insensitive in a trying time for the Leonard family, but his general sentiment about Leonard being unreliable is hard to dispute.