What was Stephen A. Smith's reaction to Kyrie Irving's Instagram Live?

Joshua Rogers October 14, 2021
Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

The Brooklyn Nets point guard posted a video discussing his current vaccination status and rumours about his future. Shortly after, the First Take host responded. But what was Stephen A. Smith’s reaction to Kyrie Irving’s Instagram Live?

Kyrie Irving addresses current status on Instagram Live

Kyrie Irving’s vaccination status is the talk of the NBA right now.

Irving has yet to be vaccinated against covid. In accordance with New York City covid regulations, that would rule him out of all Brooklyn’s home games this season.

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The Nets have already said the point guard won’t play until he’s eligible to become a “full participant” per the city’s vaccine rules.

His future looks uncertain, but on Wednesday night he took to Instagram Live to address rumours.

“I chose to be unvaccinated, and that was my choice, and I would ask you all to just respect that choice,” he said.

“You really think I want to lose money? You think I really want to give up on my dream to go after a championship? You think I really just want to give up my job?”

Addressing rumours he’d consider retiring should he remain ineligible to play, Kyrie said: “And no, I am not retiring. And no, I am not going and leaving this game like this.

“There is still so much more work to do.”

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

What was Stephen A. Smith’s reaction to Kyrie Irving’s Instagram Live?

Shortly after going live, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith uploaded a video reacting to Kyrie Irving’s Instagram Live.

Smith started the video off by saying: “Good Lord have mercy.”

He continued to tut and shake his head throughout the short video. He admitted he was holding back until Thursday’s First Take to say what he really thought.

Stephen A then said he was going to “take a deep breath” before “thinking about all the other stuff I gotta’ talk about”.

Just as Smith said he was going to let (the Kyrie situation) go, Kyrie started talking again.

Check it out.

The comments underneath Smith’s reaction were mixed, with some supporting Kyrie and others criticising him.

Stephen A. Smith has already been highly critical of Irving

If Stephen’s reaction to Kyrie Irving’s Instagram Live is anything to go off, expect fireworks on Thursday’s First Take.

After a report emerged in The Athletic that Kyrie wanted to be a “voice for the voiceless”, Stephen A sounded off on Wednesday’s show.

“I’ve been covering the NBA now for almost 25 years,” Smith said. “I mean, this is some of the stupidest nonsense I’ve ever seen. Just flat-out stupid.

“You coaxed Kevin Durant into signing on to represent. You played a role in coaxing James Harden into signing on to represent. You’re gonna compromise all of that because you want to give a voice to the voiceless. Really?

“And how is that going to work out for you, Kyrie Irving? You’re going to disappear from the game of basketball? Who is gonna be interested in what you have to say when you have proven you can’t even be trusted to do your job?”

You can watch the full segment below.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.