ESPN’s analyst Stephen A Smith called out the NBA for giving so much power to LeBron James regarding the discussion around the play-in tournament.
James has been a leader and an icon on and off the court, having also success in other activities away from basketball. Last season, the Lakers’ superstar criticized the NBA play-in tournament, after his team fell to the seventh place of the Western Conference.
Recently, Silver revealed that he had personally discussed the presence of the Play-In tournament for this upcoming season with LeBron. And after hearing this, Smith criticized the commissioner’s move to discuss the matter with a player.
“No, not a damn bit of it… Not on this issue. This is the elder statesman of the league; he’s the iconic brand in the NBA. … But that’s separate and aside from this issue. The play-in tournament is about what it takes to appeal to the fans. LeBron James is a basketball player. He’s the man, but he’s one player.”
“It (the play-in tournament) was definitely a plus for the National Basketball Association. There is evidence that shows it was a plus. … If you’re just asking him about an idea that has never happened, then his say should be definitely significant, no doubt.
But when there is evidence that has already been provided that shows it’s in the best interest of the league, there’s nothing to talk about here. We have spoken, and our voice as fans matter even more than LeBron’s in this particular situation,” he continued.