Stephen A. Smith put his vacation on pause and returned to First Take to further expound on his beef with Lebron James on Wednesday morning, July 26, and while he was at it Smith gave a heads up for viewers to hold on to their seats for what's to come. The veteran ESPN host was unapologetic about the sources he's been citing in his reporting of the Lebron James/ Kyrie Irving rift, claiming to have been in communication with family friends from Irving's father's side in the Bronx who say the Cavs point guard no longer wants to defer to King James. Smith said Lebron's dismissal of his sources all boils down to the 4-time MVP's "addiction towards controlling the narrative," and he declared that this time, he's standing on his reports and will not back down.
"If he wants to sit up there and tell people not to listen, let him do that. But I get back from vacation on Monday, on First Take. Last time I checked the ratings here are doing quite well. That means people are watching and people are listening. And I'll be back," said Smith. "And if he thinks that for one second that because he tells people not to listen, that they're going to listen to him and not listen to me, boy is he in for a rude awakening, because no matter what I've had to say it is nothing compared to what's coming once I return from my vacation."
Smith made a lot of bold claims throughout the segment, including one in which he asserts that he knows first hand about teammates who are rubbed the wrong way over "perks and privileges" James is granted by the organization and staff. He would not name names or go into further detail, but it was enough to build suspense for what Monday's episode of First Take will be like, especially in light of him stating on his radio show yesterday that he has considered going "nuclear" and exposing information about James that he has long withheld from the public.