Sorry Warriors fans, Stephen A. Smith just cursed you
Last week we told you how ESPN loud-guy Stephen A. Smith, whose only job is to opine on sports, has remarkably gotten his last six NBA Finals picks wrong.
Well, Smith just released an updated pick for this year’s NBA Finals — and Warriors fans should be worried.
Fans of the Warriors and Cavaliers were awaiting Smith’s pick with bated breath; for six years running now, his best guess has proved to be a curse. Last week, we pointed back to March, when Smith picked the Cavs over the Warriors, as an indicator that Golden State would win the championship.
But that was March. On Tuesday, with the matchup set and the Finals set to tip off Thursday, Smith released an updated pick.
Sorry, Warriors fans — he picked Golden State to win in seven games.
But then again, maybe it’s Smith’s pick from March that really counts? Either way, fans of each team now have reason to find hope — or fear the curse that comes with being picked to win by Smith.
Miraculously, he is zero for his last six NBA Finals picks — and remember, the NBA Finals are played between two teams, meaning one ostensibly has a 50-50 chance of being right.
Not Smith, though. Nope. Never tell him the odds!
But there’s more at play here
As we wrote last week, ESPN has been pushing a very Smith-heavy diet upon consumers since two of his fellow loud-mouth commentators — Skip Bayless and Colin Cowherd — left the network for Fox Sports. He yells and offers extremely emphatic opinions — yet rarely provides any new information or delivers insights of actual value.
At the same time, ESPN recently fired many, many real reporters whose work was valued by fans and respected by peers. But there is still Stephen A. Smith. There is still so much Stephen A. Smith.
He apparently gets ratings. He has his fans. And he generates conversation — even if that conversation often comes in the form of snarky blog posts like this one.
But Smith is also emblematic of a media age that seems more focused on carnival-barking than providing anything of real substance. In private conversation, it’s not uncommon to have athletes or their reps cite Smith as representing the worst of the sports media world.
So the paid opinion-haver sharing the wrong opinion in six-going-on-seven consecutive NBA Finals is definitely worth a giggle or two. But setting aside for a moment the eternal chase for ephemeral ratings and ad metrics, his consistent inaccuracy also points toward other questions.
Questions like: What does this guy even do and how long can his act last before fans roll their eyes and don’t bother to look back?