‘I Was Wrong’: Stephen A. Smith Pens 10-Minute Apology to Kyrie Irving After Kenny Smith Fires Back

Stephen A. Smith publicly apologizes to Kyrie Irving, acknowledging past criticism and reflecting on mentorship. See Irving's redemption with the Mavericks in the NBA playoffs.

Published on May 30, 2024  |  05:47 PM IST |  55K
Image Courtesy: Instagram & YouTube
Smith is sorry

Stephen A Smith finally put his criticism guards down and publicly penned an apology for Kyrie Irving for criticizing him over and over again.

Smith put out a video through his official YouTube channel which he titled: “Kyrie, I apologize,” and sought all his earlier comments made on the Dallas Mavericks star for his performance and what not. 

In his 10-minute long video, Stephen A said,”I feel the way that I feel because I pride myself in being man enough to acknowledge when I'm wrong. If I think I'm wrong because, I think it's rare, but I was wrong, and for Kenny Smith to tell me that, it hit home in a big way because we go back more than 30 years.”

However, the apology came at a time when Stephen A is facing criticisms from various NBA personalities like Draymond Green and Isiah Thomas.

The latest ordeal surfaced after NBA legend Kenny Smith revealed private details of his conversation regarding Irving. 

Kenny Smith shed light on an impactful conversation he had with Stephen A. Smith in response to the latter's criticism of Kyrie Irving. During the pregame show on TNT, Kenny revealed that he reached out to Stephen A. regarding his objections to Stephen A.'s stance on Irving, whom he saw as a product of their shared neighborhood. 


Kenny highlighted the need to recognize Irving's growth as a basketball player and emphasized the importance of understanding that young athletes undergo a process of maturation, different from their own experiences.

Also Read: Did Jayson Tatum Really Get Pissed at Reporters After Jaylen Brown Won Eastern Conference Final MVP? Exploring Viral Video

Stephen A Smith called Kyrie Irving to retire

Three years ago, in 2021, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith made headlines with his bold statement regarding Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving. During a turbulent period in January, Irving had been absent from playing since January 5 for what was cited as "personal reasons." 

The NBA also launched an investigation into a video showing Irving at a maskless birthday party, further complicating the situation. 

At that time, Irving also made headlines for participating in a Zoom event with Cynthia Nixon to discuss justice reform during a crucial game for the Nets against the Nuggets.


When asked about his co-host if Kyrie was worth all the drama that was unfolding at that time, Smith went straight faced and said,

“No, he’s not. He’s not worth it at all. As a matter of fact, let me say this straight up and down, I think Kyrie Irving should retire. I think he should announce his retirement today.”

However, his harsh criticism did not stop there as he continued: “Clearly you don’t want to play basketball bad enough. Now, you may still want to get the $33.4 million. Kyrie Irving has not prioritized basketball. I’m not saying he doesn’t want to play all together. I’m saying he hasn’t prioritized it.”

Amidst growing concerns about Irving's commitment to the team, Smith, on an episode of First Take, voiced a controversial opinion suggesting that the then-28-year-old Irving should retire from the NBA altogether. 


While the possibility of Irving actually retiring seemed remote due to the significant financial implications involved, the prolonged absence and drama surrounding him posed a considerable challenge for the Brooklyn Nets at the time. The situation three years ago left many questioning Irving's future with the team and the impact it would have on the organization.  

Also Read: ‘To Defend Myself’: LeBron James’ Wife Savannah Reveals She Had to Fight a Lot During Her High School Days

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About The Author

Nitish Singh is a Sports Content Writer at Pinkvilla and covers all things NBA. Apart from following



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