Stephen A. Smith, like many basketball fans, has a complicated relationship with Kyrie Irving. He's an otherwordly talent, but also a frustrating butthead who might just disappear for a few weeks without warning. Smith has been a very vocal critic of Irving over the last couple seasons, but today he went all the way in the other direction and predicted that Kryie would be an MVP candidate this season.
Smith thinks that Irving will be extra motivated since he's playing for a new contract after this season. It's possible, but Kyrie also seemed to prove that he doesn't really care about money that much when he missed half the season rather than get vaccinated. Plus, he repeatedly tries to convince everyone that his life is much bigger than basketball. And on top of all that Irving has only played 70+ games three times in his career and last did it in 2016-2017. That's not a great recipe for a legitimate MVP candidate.
Unless voters focus on one game against the Magic every couple of weeks, this seems like an incredibly outlandish prediction. Of course, that's what makes Stephen A. Smith the best in the business.