This is why Stephen A. Smith is an all-time sports yakker.

ESPN First Take host Molly Qerim was running through some quick hitters with Smith and Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo on Wednesday’s show. Donovan Mitchell’s 46-point night for the Cavaliers in his return game at the Jazz on Tuesday came up. And Smith is still not over the Knicks botching trade talks for the New York native over the summer.

“How many times did I tell y’all? Don’t bring up Donovan Mitchell on this show,” Smith said.

“Donovan Mitchell should be a Knick. Donovan Mitchell should be wearing a Knick uniform. And if folks didn’t act like they were recruiting for Kentucky, and instead conducted themselves like a professional organization, Donovan Mitchell would very well have been in New York City. Holding on to draft picks you’ve accumulated for what? Don’t get me started.”

Look, we don’t need to relitigate this. The world has moved on. But that Kentucky line is a killer. You know that has to cut deep for Knicks president Leon Rose and right-hand man William “World Wide” Wesley. Especially because we all know the John Calipari buzz is coming down the pike sooner rather than later. He’s got to get out of Kentucky and it will not take much to heat up Tom Thibodeau’s seat if the brain trust wants it to get hot.

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James Kratch can be reached at

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.