JJ Redick Annihilates Stephen A. Smith, Mad Dog For Takes On Kawhi Leonard And The Clippers

JJ Redick wears a headset during a basketball broadcast.

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JJ Redick put his First Take co-hosts in their place Wednesday morning for their takes on Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers. His rebuttal to the remarks is now going viral on social media.

Both Stephen A. Smith and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo questioned Leonard’s desire to play through injury during the NBA Playoffs. Smith believes the team should cut ties altogether.

Redick, who played at the professional level for more than a decade, vehemently disagreed.

Kawhi missed Game 3 of the Clippers’ first round series against the Phoenix Suns. The absence led SAS to offer his thoughts of Leonard in comparison to other superstars in the game’s history.

“Kawhi Leonard should be on the list of one of the worst superstars this game has ever seen,” Smith said. After the Clippers lost the series, 4-1, Smith double down on his criticism, saying Los Angeles should force Leonard to retire.

It was later determined that Kawhi had suffered a torn meniscus, which he played through in his 31-point performance in Game 2. Though Smith didn’t question the legitimacy of the setback, his stance didn’t change.

“He’s barely ever there, and on top of it all, he does nothing to market or promote your franchise,” Smith began. “He couldn’t go this year when it counted… We watch Kawhi drop 38 in Game 1 in Phoenix, 31 in Game 2, walk off the court, and then the next thing you know, he ain’t available.”

“His medical team should be fired. He’s never healthy when it counts.”

First Take co-host Chris Russo then began spouting off comparisons to Larry Bird and Kevin McHale playing through injuries during their NBA careers.

“Larry Bird’s on the court. You’ve gotta go play… [Kawhi] is making $43 million a year. You just said it. Nobody saw him get hurt, and he had 38 in Game 1 and 31 in Game 2. GUT IT OUT!”

JJ Redick quickly blasted both opinions in his next segment.

JJ Redick annihilates SAS, Mad Dog on First Take

“I mean this in the nicest way possible to both of you, but listening to each of you right now, it’s very obvious that you played ZERO high level basketball.”

He’d go on to crush Mad Dog’s comparisons to players playing “on a hobbled ankle in the 1970s,” before telling Stephen A that Kawhi Leonard is one of the most meticulous workers he’s ever seen, specifically mentioning a personal experience with Leonard as he recovered from a previous injury.

It’s safe to say Redick didn’t appreciate either of his co-hosts questioning the Leonard’s injury or outlook.

“If he could play, he would play.”

Game, set, match for JJ Redick.