Stephen A. Smith Slams ESPN's NBA 25 And Under List, Says It Diminishes Network's Credibility

Stephen A. Smith
Stephen A. Smith /

Today, ESPN posted a big feature article by Bobby Marks, Mike Schmitz, and Kevin Pelton ranking the top 25 players in the NBA under the age of 25 based on their future potential. The usual suspects littered the top tier with names such as Luka Doncic, Zion Williamson, and LaMelo Ball topping the rankings. Like most lists of this nature, controversy followed concerning the entirely arbitrary decisions made by three of ESPN's top basketball writers.

Stephen A. Smith took issue with the list when it was brought on today's edition of First Take. Smith said it diminished the credibility of ESPN and everyone who was involved should get drug-tested. His biggest complaint seemed to be that Ball was so high in the rankings after a half-season of production.

I mean, he's right. Placing Ball above Devin Booker or Jayson Tatum seems kind of insane. But going on ESPN's most popular debate show to yell about how his coworkers should get drug-tested is a bit much, even for Smith and his legendary rants.

Maybe tomorrow one of the three writers responsible for the supposed diminishing credibility of the network will appear on First Take to duke it out with their biggest critic. That would be good television.