“The only person more popular than him, one could easily argue was Michael Jordan” – Stephen A. Smith says he won’t be here if it wasn’t for 11x All-Star, says covering him was a separate beat

Stephen A. Smith is one of the most popular people in the sports broadcasting world. His voice is captivating and he is especially popular among NBA fans.

The NBA reporter has been writing about the league since the early 1990s and has become a prominent figure over the past decade.

Smith’s professional career began with The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he was a writer.

Smith covered the Philadelphia 76ers and was an important media figure even back then. In this period, the 76ers were one of the worst teams in the league.

However, things changed when they drafted Allen Iverson and Stephen A. Smith formed a special friendship with the point guard.

Stephen A. Smith on his special bond with Allen Iverson

In his conversation with J.J. Redick, Stephen A. Smith revealed some interesting details about his relationship with Allen Iverson.

“It’s hard to admit this as an objective observer or jounalist, commentator, all of this other stuff, but I love Allen Iverson, he’s like a little brother to me.”

He mentioned that the two shared the same roots and it brought them closer together as they had a good understanding.

“And covering him, being an African-American from the streets of New York, knowing his story and knowing what he endured, we went through a lot together covering him. I don’t believe I’m sitting here in this position today if it were not for Allen Iverson.”

Smith talked about Iverson’s popularity and how influential he was in the NBA. The NBA analyst believes there was only one player more popular than him back then.

“When he was a start in this league, the only person more popular than him, one could easily argue, was Michael Jordan. That’s how popular Allen Iverson was.”

Smith continued, saying how the 76ers guard sometimes didn’t do the right thing, and it was difficult to write about them. He would sometimes completely ignore them and decide not to write about them, but other times, Iverson would leave him with no choice.

17 years ago, Iverson hits the step back over Lue. Use one word to describe this Finals moment.

Stephen A. Smith and Allen Iverson faced some problems during their time working together

Smith revealed that he and the point guard had some problems with each other. At one point, they didn’t speak for two years because of an incident.

“His last stint with the Philadelphia 76ers, we didn’t speak for two years because he was upset that I had written an article about him. He was away from the team, you know, supposedly his kid was sick or whatever. But then they saw him partying.”

Smith implied that he didn’t want to write about this, but his editor made him publish an article. This is what has eventually caused Iverson to get upset.

“He didn’t know know any of this but one of my editors said ‘I thought you said Allen Iverson was with his family.’ I said, ‘He is, that’s what he told me.’

“He turned around and he had a video of Iverson surrounded by hundreds of people. And he said, ‘You write it, or we take it out of your hands and we’ll have our department write it.’”

After he published the story, Allen Iverson was incredibly hurt, which led to them not talking for two years. Later on, Iverson revealed that he wasn’t hurt by the article, but by the fact that it came from Smith.


This was one of the biggest regrets of Smith’s career. Fortunately, he and the Hall of Famer have mended their relationship since the incident.

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