JJ Redick Apologized To Stephen A. Smith After Disparaging His College Basketball Career At Winston-Salem State

When former professional athletes and sports talk pundits argue on television, there is always the temptation for the former player to drop in something about how the other “never played the game.”

It’s part of why former players becoming analysts are so valuable, because they have been in those moments and can speak from experience, but at times it can be a bit of a low blow. The all-time example is Jalen Rose roasting Skip Bayless’ high school stats, calling him “Water Pistol Pete” in one of the great moments in morning sports talk history.

On Tuesday, while discussing LeBron’s comments about having “a lot to think about” regarding his future and potentially retiring, J.J. Redick grew frustrated with Stephen A. Smith and took a shot at Smith’s college career at Winston-Salem State University, with Brian Windhorst awkwardly sitting in remotely waiting to get to make his point.

Later in the show, Redick offered an apology to Smith, admitting he let Stephen A. get under his skin and he was “a little flustered” and resorted to the “you’ve never played at this level” tactic. He also apologized for getting confused where he went to school, as he got a lot of pushback on Twitter from folks giving him a history lesson about the importance of Winston-Salem State Basketball and, particularly, coach Clarence “Big House” Gaines, for whom Smith played.

Stephen A. brushed the whole thing off, but you can tell how much he enjoyed getting an apology from Redick and, more importantly, the admission that he’d gotten under his skin. That’s what Stephen A. lives for, and J.J. has to know by now that he can’t let Smith’s antics rattle him into saying things he may end up regretting.