Stephen A. Smith takes aim at Leon Rose, says Knicks prez ‘hiding like a thief’ – The Denver Post


Even Kevin Durant’s bombshell request to be shipped out of Brooklyn, couldn’t provide media cover for the New York Knickerbockers nor save team suits from the wrath of Stephen A. Smith.

Smith’s ESPN (NBA Today) analysis of Durant’s Thursday move should have sucked all the oxygen out of his Rage Cage, but SAS, recuperating from recent shoulder surgery, was still slinging heat during an appearance on 98.7′s “The Michael Kay Show.” Yes, this was SAS using the team’s flagship radio station as a platform to verbally launch an attack on Knicks’ prez Leon Rose.

Now that’s chutzpah. Among other beefs, Smith questioned the circumstances surrounding the Jalen Brunson acquisition (he wondered if Mavs boss Mark Cuban had any problems with it). Smith also said Knicks prez Leon Rose is “hiding like a thief, never seen by anybody.”

Near the end of an interview with Don La Greca and Peter Rosenberg, which centered on Durant and Kyrie Irving, Rosenberg asked Smith if he was “feeling good” about the Brunson signing. Smith quickly said “no,” but conceded Brunson would be a “good fit” for the Knicks. Then, he dropped the hammer on Rose, a guy he “has known for many years.”

”I can’t put into words how disappointed I am in the job he is doing at this moment,” SAS said. “You are the president of basketball operations. You talked to the media in September [then] no one sees you again until April. And when you do that interview it was for Dolan’s in-house media organization [MSG Network with Mike Breen conducting the session]. You don’t know what the hell is going on with Leon Rose…Who is the boss? What is the direction?”

Smith said he would ask Rose about the circumstances surrounding the Brunson acquisition; like was the deck stacked in favor of the Knicks. SAS went to the tangled web theory, mentioning how Rose’s son, Sam, represents Jalen Brunson. Leon Rose represented Brunson when he was an agent. Also, Brunson’s father Rick, a former Knick, was recently added to Tom Thibodeau’s staff.

”Why didn’t you hire him [Rick Brunson] last season? Or two years ago? Why would you go out and hire him a month before his son gets here?” Smith asked. “Do you have any idea how that looks? There’s a little family affair going on, but is it a great basketball decision? Because what we see is a bunch of dudes taking care of each other.”

It’s unlikely Smith, or anyone else will get their questions answered. Rose seems to prefer printed, paint-by-number missives, that don’t answer questions, like the one he issued after the Knicks decision to accumulate draft picks rather than make a selection during the recent NBA Draft.

”…To see Leon Rose, the president of basketball operations, hiding like a thief, never seen by anybody, never around to answer any questions. Never around to give us any accountability about the New York Knicks,” SAS said. “That’s why I’m not very happy.”

Smith did have a solution for Rose albeit an unlikely one.

”Talk to us. Tell us what you are doing,” Smith said. “Stand up and validate. Show us you’re willing to be accountable. Because if you don’t do that you know who you are? James Dolan.”

Do we really need another one?


The Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network may lead the NBA in disposing of promos designed to hype big-time, sure-shot, ratings magnets. First it was Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Now it will likely be Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving who will be sanitized from YES’ highlight department. Which leads us to ask: How will YES promote the 2022-23 Nets? ”Fleeced or Famine? Tune in to see who we got in the big trade — only on YES?” And how will YES voices treat Irving (whether he leaves or stays)?Will they call him out for his laissez-faire attitude? Or give him a pass like they did most of last season?


WFAN’s Evan Roberts, on the Nets flagship radio station, blamed the Nets dysfunction and the mess they’re in, on owner Joseph Tsai. Roberts (did you know he’s a Nets fan?) was emotional and may have pushed a bit too far when he said: “The owner is broke.” Unless Roberts can prove it, that’s quite a strong accusation. Nonetheless, the beat went on. Roberts continued hammering Tsai, saying: “I would do anything to get Joe Tsai out of the basketball business.” Can we safely say Roberts does not think much of Mr. Tsai’s much-hailed business acumen?


For those enjoying SNY’s documentary, “He’s Keith Hernandez,” there is more original Mex content on the horizon. SNY’s cameras will be following Hernandez around on July 9, the day his No. 17 will be retired. The intent is to produce a half-hour show on what will be an emotional day for Hernandez, his family and the fans who supported him through the years. And all those years were chronicled with a lot of soul and emotion in ”He’s Keith Hernandez.” The producers crammed a lot into 45 minutes. One highlight was a rare interview with 90-year-old former Cardinals’ manager Whitey Herzog, who claimed he did not want to trade Hernandez to the Mets. Hernandez has contended that Herzog wanted him out of St. Looie. The doc gained credibility by reporting on the 1985 Pittsburgh grand jury investigation into cocaine use by major league players. Hernandez testified during that investigation.


Tiki Barber flew solo last week on FAN. With plenty of time to fill, Barber covered some interesting areas — like broadcasting. The former Giants running back had his share of ups and downs in the biz but still felt inclined to share his opinions with listeners. On ESPN’s Troy Aikman/Joe Buck: “When I listen to Buck and Aikman I get lost in their rhetoric.” On Tom Brady: “I will be surprised if Tom Brady is good at it [the Fox NFL analyst gig]. To me, he’s not a talker.” On new YES voice Cameron Maybin: “He’s upfront and not trying to sound like an announcer.” … After previously being defeated by JJ Redick on ESPN’s “First Take,” Christopher (Mad Dog) Russo ran into Anthony (Booger) McFarland, a very smooth operator. McFarland obviously had scouted Russo. “When you can’t win an argument, you try switching to another. I know. I’ve been watching you.” McFarland also chided Doggie for not doing his homework on whether Dak Prescott is in the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks. McFarland: “You’re up in New York, maybe the internet isn’t working.” … Included in YES’ New York Emmy Award nominations in the sports analyst category are Nets analysts Sarah Kustok, Frank Isola and reporter Michael Grady. If they win, will they signal out Durant/Irving “for being so cooperative?”

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He had a turbulent NFL career, with plenty of off-field troubles, but to see Jones adopt the two sons of deceased teammate Chris Henry and take Chris Henry Jr. on a college tour, underscores how people can change and adapt.


For relying on the use of expletives during his “The Draymond Green Show” podcasts. The content of Green’s opinion and insight is original enough. He doesn’t need to cuss. Green recently directed a racial slur at ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins. He apologized. Has Green seen the light?


What Aaron Boone said: “He [Joey Gallo] has got to keep grinding through it. It’s certainly been a challenge.”

What Aaron Boone meant to say: “Joey is willing to try anything. Any suggestions?”



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