David Blatt probably isn’t the only one who doubts Stephen A. Smith’s conclusions about basketball.
The former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach ripped the ESPN analyst as “clueless” about basketball because he rated Deandre Ayton higher than Luka Doncic during the lead-up to the 2018 NBA Draft. While Ayton, the No. 1 overall draft pick, is enjoying a fine rookie season, Doncic, the No. 3 pick, has emerged as the overwhelming favorite to win the Rookie of the Year Award and become the face of the Dallas Mavericks franchise.
In an interview Israel-based outlet Calcalist published Wednesday, Blatt reminded the public he predicted Doncic’s NBA success and he also took a shot at Smith.
“I told everyone he was the best player in the draft,” Blatt said. “Stephen A. Smith is clueless at basketball. (Doncic) is hands down the best player in the draft.”
In Smith’s defense, Doncic was playing in Europe prior to coming to the NBA, far from ESPN’s prying eyes, while Ayton starred for the Arizona Wildcats, allowing stateside basketball observers to track his progress closely.
But as basketball further globalizes, Smith would do well to solicit the insights of Blatt, and those of other experts who saw Doncic coming years ago, before he spouts less-than-fully fleshed-out ideas on national television.
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