LeBron James Denies Desire to ‘Beat Kyrie Irving’s Ass,’ So Stephen A. Smith Threatens Him

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

LeBron James denied one of his reports, so Stephen A. Smith did what any sensible, responsible journalist would—he threatened the Cleveland Cavaliers star.

On Twitter, James called out a pair of Slam Magazine stories, one of which said James was “eager” to see Kyrie Irving get traded, the other of which cited Smith’s report that a source in James’ camp indicated the King would be “tempted to beat [Irving’s] ass” if they were in the same room.

On Tuesday, Smith doubled down on the report on his radio show.

“If LeBron James was in front of Kyrie Irving, I was told, quote, he would be tempted to whup his ass,” Smith said.

“That’s what was told to me. I did not speculate, I did not put that out there, it was told to me. Verbatim.”

The pro sports yeller then threatened to share “the real story about what happened with LeBron James against Boston the spring before he decided to leave Cleveland and take his talents to South Beach,” referring to a 2010 playoff series in which the Boston Celtics eliminated LeBron’s Cavs in the second round. LeBron shot a combined 11-of-35 in Games 5 and 6 of the series, both losses, after it’d been tied at two games apiece.

“We never report everything we know,” Smith said. “Contrary to what some of you out there may believe, we do exercise decorum and professionalism and we do make a concerted effort to quell whatever biases exist inside of us as human beings. But I gotta tell y’all, there are some moments when a professional athlete literally tempts you to go nuclear on them. And I stand here before you today right in that zone when it comes to LeBron James.”

This is nothing new for Stephen A.

In 2015, after Smith reported Kevin Durant had designs on leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Los Angeles Lakers, Durant called the radio and television personality a liar.

Smith responded with a threatening tirade on air, telling Durant “you don’t want to make an enemy out of me.”

Durant didn’t sign with the Lakers.

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