New Orleans Pelicans mercilessly eviscerate Stephen A. Smith for attacking Zion

Stephen A. Smith crossed the line when going after Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans. The team responded, and Smith clapped back in embarrassing fashion, proving the Pelicans were right to do what they did.

Feb 25, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) dribbles
Feb 25, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) dribbles / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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New Orleans Pelicans mercilessly eviscerate Stephen A. Smith

The latest incident with the Pelicans is just another chapter in what appears to be an unnecessary grudge against a franchise that had nothing to do with ruining his mood, unless, of course, you go back to the 2019 NBA Draft.

The Pelicans won the draft lottery, meaning they had the right to draft Zion Williamson. Meanwhile, Smith's Knicks picked 3rd, missing out on Williamson and Memphis' Ja Morant, settling for Williamson's former college teammate RJ Barrett. Smith went on an epic rant following the night, much to the joy of New Orleans fans, and, frankly, NBA fans in general.

What's truly embarrassing at this particular juncture, is what Smith said in his response. Again, he had a right to do so, but there is a line that makes the average individual facepalm themselves just by listening to it, and it's about Smith in his college days at Winston Salem-State.

"“You see, do you realize at Division II Winston-Salem State, I could have been on the court averaging 20-to-25 [points] a game and I still wouldn’t compare to a single one of y’all who made it to the NBA? Do you understand that I know that no matter how you gloss over anything, meaning myself or anybody else, I don’t compare to y’all?”"

Stephen A. Smith

On the court, averaging 20-25? How? Smith wasn't exactly a highly recruited basketball player, despite him saying that he once hit 17-straight three pointers. Don't forget that Smith cracked his kneecap in half as a freshman and had a six-inch screw, as he says. Would he really have averaged 20–25 in college?

The kicker is how he ended his retort to the Pelicans and to Pelicans broadcaster Antonio Daniels, with talking about him being No. 1 in sports entertainment and that the Pelicans needed to dial it back and focus more on basketball. With all due respect, they have a right to defend their player, and being No. 1 on television means you are immune from criticism and retort to your hot takes? What world does Stephen A. Smith live in, exactly?