Stephan A. Smith recently made headlines because of his controversial comments about Boston Celtics wingman Jaylen Brown. The ESPN analyst read a text from a “source” that claimed Brown wasn't a marketable player because people didn't like him. Brown caught wind of Smith's statements, and he challenged the sports personality to cite the said source. Smith then responded to Brown, and below is what he had to say.

“First off, that’s not happening,” Smith said, on naming his source. “It’s journalism. Not revealing sources. Secondly, if you continue to watch the segment, I completely disagreed with them (the source) — as did Kendrick Perkins. The point we were actually discussing is how underappreciated you are and why that may be, which is why I read the quote. I even brought up how socially conscious you are, and how that may not be liked, knowing you’re a good brother. Also, that you’re a $300 million man and you deserve it. But that doesn’t mean naysayers don’t get heard. That comes with the territory.”

How all the Jaylen Brown drama started

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) controls the ball against Indiana Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard (2) during the third quarter of game three of the eastern conference finals in the 2024 NBA playoffs at Gainbridge Fieldhouse
© Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

So what exactly did Smith say to start a chain of callouts that even got Isiah Thomas involved? Here's his exact statement during a recent segment on First Take.

“I wanted to read to y’all what an NBA source just sent me,” Smith said. “He said, ‘Jaylen Brown, it’s not so much that he’s underrated; it’s that he’s just not liked because of his I-am-better-than-you attitude. He knows it. It’s the same reason he is not as marketable as he should be.' That’s what an NBA source just sent me.”

Both Isiah Thomas and Brown weren't having it

This prompted a response on X from Detroit Pistons legend Isiah Thomas, who knew Brown personally.

“I have been a friend, mentor and advisor to (Brown) since he was a student at UC Berkeley,” Thomas wrote. “He is 100 percent marketable and before you slander his name, (Stephen A. Smith), tell your source to put their name on it or don’t speak on it. Let it be known.”

As mentioned earlier, Brown responded with a post of his own as well.

“State your source,” the Celtics star said on X, while sharing a clip of Smith's First Take comments.

Stephen A. Smith did respond to Thomas, making it clear that he (Smith) is a fan of Brown and always roots for the Celtics star. And just now, Smith's response to Brown gives off a similar narrative — one that claims he is on Brown's side. Nevertheless, the analyst made no disclosure of the unnamed source.

All things considered, the Boston Celtics are a win away from the NBA finals, so it's no surprise that media coverage surrounding the team has increased. Right now, it looks like a clash with the Dallas Mavericks is highly plausible, looking at how both teams are up 3-0 in their respective series. Nevertheless, the Eastern Conference Finals isn't done yet. Jaylen Brown and Co. need one more win, and they'll have a chance to advance this Monday.