Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith tells Grizzlies to show Andre Iguodala some respect

Stephen A. Smith tells Grizzlies to show Andre Iguodala some respect

There's never a dull moment in the NBA.

In the late hours Monday night, a social media war of words (and emojis) was unleashed by Memphis Grizzlies guards Dillon Brooks and Ja Morant, of which former Warrior Andre Iguodala was the subject. Iguodala, who is currently a member of the Grizzlies, has not played for them this season, nor does he intend to. That hasn't sat well with his current teammates.

After Memphis beat the Detroit Pistons on Monday night, Brooks was asked about the constant trade rumors surrounding Iguodala, and didn't hold back in calling out the former Finals MVP.

"A guy that's on our team that doesn't want to be on our team, I can't wait till we find a way to trade him so we can play him and we can show him really what Memphis is about," Brooks told The Commercial Appeal's Mark Giannotto. When Morant saw those comments circulated on Twitter, he amplified them with an emoji of support.

That wasn't the end of it, though. A rebuttal would be issued by one of Iguodala's former teammates and closest friends, none other than two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry.

Fitting with his playing style, Morant didn't back down.

Like I said, never a dull moment. The back-and-forth between the current and former members of Golden State and Memphis was a hot topic on the morning talk shows, and ESPN's Stephen A. Smith thought the young Grizzlies were not only out of line, but operating without accurate information.

"I love Ja Morant," Smith said on Tuesday's episode of "First Take." "I'm a fan. Dillon Brooks can ball, I like him a lot. But they need to do their homework. According to what I have been told, the Grizzlies have never met with Andre Iguodala, they've never called him, and on top of it all, they virtually made it clear that when they acquired him, it was to use him as an asset that would be moved later on down the road. So what's the problem?"

"I agree completely with Steph Curry," Smith continued, "who posted a picture of Andre Iguodala holding a championship trophy. Excuse me, Memphis Grizzlies. I appreciate what I'm seeing from y'all, but y'all ain't on that level. Iggy has been there, he has done it, he is a veteran in this league and he's class personified. Show some damn respect, because he deserves it."

[RELATED: What Warriors could get in return by trading their assets]

You have to appreciate Morant and Brooks assimilating so well into Memphis' "grit and grind" personality, and they've both been tremendous in leading the surprising Grizzlies into playoff positioning. It's easy to understand why they'd be frustrated with Iguodala, but as Smith suggested, perhaps their ire should be directed somewhere else.

Stephen A. Smith blasts Kyle Shanahan after 49ers' 2020 Super Bowl loss

Stephen A. Smith blasts Kyle Shanahan after 49ers' 2020 Super Bowl loss

The heat is on Kyle Shanahan once again for his decision-making in a Super Bowl loss after the 49ers fell Sunday 31-20 to the Kansas City Chiefs at Hard Rock Stadium. 

San Francisco entered the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead and allowed 21 unanswered points in the last six minutes. The Lombardi Trophy was there for the taking, and then Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs stole it from the 49ers in a flash. 

Shanahan faced plenty of questions after the loss regarding some questionable calls. And on Monday morning, Stephen A. Smith didn't hold back on the 49ers' coach. 

"In the end, what it comes down to is Kyle Shanahan coached scared," Smith said Monday on ESPN's "First Take." " ... I don't know what else to say!" 

Smith blasted Shanahan for abandoning the run, something Chiefs defensive back Tyrann Mathieu thanked the 49ers for after San Francisco's loss. The 49ers rushed the ball 22 times for 141 yards and averaged 6.4 yards per carry. 

Meanwhile, Jimmy Garoppolo completed 20 of his 31 pass attempts and was intercepted twice as he seemed to crumble in the clutch. 

"We tried to run the ball," Shanahan told reporters after the game. "We did play action, convert third downs. I think the plays got a little lopsided a little bit where we didn't have 15-play drives. I didn't feel like we punted until the fourth quarter."

[RELATED: What Shanahan's play-calling late in Super Bowl tells us]

Raheem Mostert led the 49ers with only 12 carries after running for 220 yards on 29 carries in the NFC Championship Game. 

The "what ifs" will continue. Second-guessing isn't going anywhere. Yes, Shanahan led the 49ers to a Super Bowl one season after winning only four games, but the sunshine in Santa Clara just got a little more cloudy.

Stephen A. Smith refuses to give Jimmy Garoppolo credit for 49ers' win

Stephen A. Smith refuses to give Jimmy Garoppolo credit for 49ers' win

Richard Sherman sent a loud message to Jimmy Garoppolo's critics after San Francisco's 37-8 beatdown against Green Bay on Sunday night: Stop hating on the 49ers QB. 

“What else can the guy do? He’s helping his football team win football games, and he deserves a ton more credit for that," the 49ers cornerback said as part of a fiery rant to the media. 

But of course, questions surrounding Jimmy G continued on Monday morning. Despite Garoppolo outplaying Aaron Rodgers on his way to posting his highest passer rating with the 49ers, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith still isn't a believer. 

"When Jimmy G plays against a defense the caliber of his own defense in San Francisco, come talk to me," Smith said Monday on ESPN's "First Take." "Aaron Rodgers had to go against somebody different than Jimmy G had to go against. Let's pump the breaks on that." 

Garoppolo picked apart the Packers, completing 14 of his 20 pass attempts for 253 yards passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He had a 145.8 passer rating. 

While the Packers don't have as strong of a defense as the 49ers, Garoppolo became just the third QB this season to throw multiple touchdowns against Green Bay without getting intercepted.

Stephen A. went on to compliment Jimmy G in certain aspects, but refuses to call him elite (nobody asked) and wouldn't give the quarterback any credit for the 49ers' demolition of the Packers, who entered Sunday as the No. 2 seed in the NFC. 

"I can't ignore the fact that Jimmy G has completed 68 percent of his passes," Smith said. "I'm not gonna get on him about that. But 20 touchdowns, 10 interceptions. I mean, c'mon now. There are plenty of times where if it had to be in Jimmy G's hands, we don't know. ... Jimmy G's got skills, he's no scrub.

"I think he's worth the $72 million he's getting in guarantees in today's quarterback market." 

There's no doubt Garoppolo wishes he had some of his interceptions back this season. He also has dealt with multiple injuries to the offensive line, a scattered wide receiver group and the two-game absence of tight end George Kittle -- the 49ers' best player.

[RELATED: Garoppolo believes 49ers' locker room has Super Bowl mindset]

Jimmy G is far from elite right now, but the 49ers to this point don't need him to be. The recently-turned 28-year-old is 18-3 in his NFL career as a starter, has one of the top completion percentages in the league and a top-10 passer rating (100.6) among QBs who haven't missed a game this season.

Week by week, Garoppolo seems to be improving in his first full season under coach Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers are sick of the hate, but as long as they stay in the spotlight, it likely won't stop. 

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