Stephen A. Smith is one of ESPN's most popular analysts. While Smith has said some takes that a lot of basketball fans will agree with, he's also said a handful of claims that certainly sparked controversy. In fact, it's safe to say that Smith is one of the most polarizing figures in the world of sports, including the NBA. Let's rank Stephen A. Smith's 10 wildest takes.

10. Stephen Curry over LeBron James

In the 2023 postseason, the Lakers and the Warriors locked horns at the Western Conference semifinals, paving the way for LeBron James and Stephen Curry to reignite their Finals rivalry in the 2010s. Around this time, Smith made a bold claim of Curry eliminating James off the GOAT conversation, if ever James lost the playoff series. Clearly, the claim raised some eyebrows.

9. Stephen Curry over Magic Johnson as the best PG

There's no doubt that Magic Johnson was a major part of the Lakers' Showtime era. He revolutionized the game as a 6-foot-9 playmaker. On the other hand, Curry made his mark in the NBA as the greatest shooter of all time.

With Curry's rise, Smith made a bold claim that Curry is the best point guard in league history, surpassing Johnson. Given that these players thrived in different eras, the statement was debatable at best.

8. Zion Williamson ‘eating the table' in New Orleans

Although he is a two-time All-Star, it's safe to say that Zion Williamson has yet to live up to the hype. At one point, a lot of people expected the 6-foot-6 big man to lead the charge for the New Orleans Pelicans. Some of these people included Smith himself.

Unfortunately, due to injuries and weight concerns, Williamson has yet to live up to the hype. When Williamson only tallied 13 points in a loss against the Lakers in the NBA Cup, Smith opted to criticize Williamson's eating habits by referencing the chefs based in New Orleans.

7. Picking Anthony Davis over Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic

There's no question that Anthony Davis is an elite center when healthy. But while AD has been solid as of late, it remains to be seen whether he has what it takes to become the Purple and Gold's franchise player after LeBron James. Due to injuries, Davis has yet to prove as such.

But for Smith, he believes that Davis is already better than the likes of Luka Doncic and Nikola Jokic. It's worth noting that the former successfully led the Mavs to several playoff appearances as the go-to guy. On the other hand, Jokic is a three-time NBA MVP that has led the Nuggets to an NBA title and Finals MVP.

6. Benching Kevin Durant for Jayson Tatum

There's no question that Jayson Tatum and Kevin Durant are two of the best forwards in the NBA today. As a result, it wasn't surprising that they were selected in the 2023 All-Star Game.

However, in Smith's eyes, Tatum should have started over KD. Although Tatum is proving to be a legitimate franchise player, Durant has already accomplished plenty of awards and continues to be a top scoring threat.

5. Jimmy Butler isn't a superstar

Carrying a team to a pair of NBA Finals appearances isn't an easy feat. But that's something that Jimmy Butler was able to do. However, according to Smith, that wasn't enough to reach superstar status.

The six-time All-Star has been the face for the Heat for several seasons. Although he has yet to lead the Heat to a championship, his efforts shouldn't go unnoticed.

4. Bigger star than the New York Knicks

Failing to land a legitimate star who can lead the franchise, Smith went off on ABC due to his frustrations. In the process, Smith went as far as claiming that he himself was a bigger star than most of the Knicks roster.

It was a wild take, given that the Knicks roster is composed of All-Star guard Jalen Brunson and former Most Improved Player of the Year winner Julius Randle. Of course, it was months before Brunson went off in the NBA Playoffs as well.

3. Ja Morant in five years

In 2023, Ja Morant found himself in the center of controversy for flashing a weapon in his social media platform. The move threatened Morant's endorsement deals and forced the team to suspend Morant for his actions. However, Smith turned some heads after he chimed in by claiming that the league community predicted that Morant won't be alive in five years.

2. Selecting Jahlil Okafor over Karl-Anthony Towns

The 2015 NBA Draft featured a skilled center in Karl-Anthony Towns. However, Smith wasn't buying into the hype and tried to convince everyone that Jahlil Okafor is supposed to be the top pick of the draft.

Fast forward to today, Okafor is currently out of the NBA. On the other hand, Towns is a four-time All-Star for the rising Timberwolves, who are in the Western Conference finals.

1. Donovan Mitchell as the best Jazz player

Donovan Mitchell was a special player for the Utah Jazz during his stint with the team. He led the squad to several competitive playoff campaigns. For his efforts, Smith made a statement that Mitchell was the best player to ever suit up in a Jazz uniform.

The bold claim was questionable at best. No disrespect to Mitchell, but guys like Karl Malone and John Stockton led the Jazz to a pair of NBA Finals appearances. Moreover both have their names all over the Jazz all-time record books.