kyrie irving
Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

One day after “assuring” viewers that the Brooklyn Nets would trade Kyrie Irving if not for Kevin Durant, Stephen A. Smith is backtracking.

Wow. Stephen A. Smith is walking back an opinion he disguised as a report regarding Kyrie Irving. Who could have seen this coming?

One day after claiming that the Brooklyn Nets would be willing to trade Irving for Ben Simmons, the ESPN firebrand is clarifying what he meant.

In case you missed Smith’s initial “report” on Irving and his situation in Brooklyn, here is the full clip of what he said on ESPN’s “First Take.”

Smith is a master at disguising opinions to look like real news. He states something that everyone understands is true: Kevin Durant would not want the Nets to trade Kyrie Irving. Most reasonable observers would believe that to be true.

However, Smith “assures” the viewers that the Nets would definitively make an Irving for Simmons swap if not for Durant. We have no idea if that is actually true and it’s quite obvious that Smith does not have legitimate sources backing up that claim.

Still, in today’s world of sports media aggregation, the world takes that story and runs with it. Irving, Simmons, Durant, and even Stephen A. Smith drive clicks and eyeballs.

Where have we seen this act before? Well, Smith has pulled this a number of times, but he’s actually cribbing from FOX Sports host Nick Wright on this Kyrie Irving nonsense.

Recently, Wright pulled the same move — disguising an opinion as a sourced report. It’s a cheap way for talking heads to drum up headlines and attention. Clicks and views make the sports media world go ’round. Who cares about reporting the truth when you are trying to win the war for eyeballs and attention?

Irving’s up-and-down relationship with the media continues. The All-NBA guard is a unique personality in the NBA and he serves as a lightning rod for the Nets. We don’t expect this nonsense from Stephen A. Smith to help repair Irving’s frayed relationship with the media.

But again, who could have seen this coming?