We all know why Howard Stern got his own Sirius XM radio station: so that he could be more, well, Howard Stern. But why on earth would Stephen A. Smith ever need an outlet outside of ESPN? It seems that the man is already given free reign to bark off whatever kind of madness flosses through his wildly spasmodic neural pathways anyway.
So what's a radio show going to add to that? How could Stephen A. Smith possibly be any more Stephen A. Smith? The answer, my friends, lies in the Soundcloud clip above. The result is a sermon that is one part Al Pacino and 100 percent rant.
Just take a look at the sound bar! It is a perfect reflection of Smith's cadence. Deep valleys of silences, surrounded by tall peaks of shouting.
As for the content, it's hard to come away with a favorite moment from the clip. It's all so littered with Smith-like gems that it makes for a trip into the veritable cave of wonders that is Stephen A. Smith's mind—unfettered by Skip Bayless's counterpoints. Hard to believe that a human being like Bayless acts as Smith's superego on the regular, but here's the proof.
Even the premise behind Smith's rant is absurd. He's pulling from the already-ridiculous controversy about who is supposed to get credit for the Golden State Warriors' 20-0 winning streak: acting coach Luke Walton, or a spinal-fluid poisoned Steve Kerr who has sat out for all of this season so far. You'd think that it wouldn't really matter—that it was a team effort—but this is sports we're talking about, so individual credit counts. Yet, instead of selecting either of those coaches, Smith takes the ridiculousness to new heights, and all-but proposes that fired coach Mark Jackson deserves the wins.
"But you have to forgive me if I don't give a damn about either guy's record right now," Smith starts up, giving way to a fever pitch. "The person that I'm thinking about is Mark Jackson! Do y'all remember that dude?! You know, the dude that inherited the mess that was the Golden State Warriors?"
Smith then goes on to talk about Jackson turning the team around to take them to back-to-back playoff appearances as head coach of the Warriors, his pursuit of now-amazing Draymond Green, Steph Curry's unguardable, uncoachable qualities, listing the insanity of Curry's play from two nights ago: Curry dribbling around Draymond, juking two Hornets and pulling up from 30.
"Oh, that's great coaching by Luke Walton, ain't it?! Oh, that's really touching! Really?! Really!?!"
"Do y'all even know anything about basketball?" Smith coos into the microphone with perfect condescension.
The whole thing takes a bit of a turn when Smith says, "People don't want to go there. That's why they let me. I'm the resident pariah. I'm the bad guy, I'm the dude willing to wear the black hat. That's right, I said it. This is what pisses black folks off."
"We got to talk about [Luke Walton] getting a head coaching job, but Mark Jackson's on the sidelines watching—and he's the one responsible, in large parts, for constructing all this. He wasn't alone."
To Smith's point, sure. There is structural racism built into the NBA. There aren't enough black coaches and executives in the league.
But to whatever degree that race played into his firing (and remember, the team won a title the year after he was fired), Jackson's influence on the Warriors team in their current iteration is equally immeasurable. This is actually an argument that cannot be made. And yet we're here listening to Smith go on about it for seven minutes. It is mesmerizingly Stephen A. Smith.
Smith finally signs off by saying, "Do you people have any shame at all?"
Well, do you?