Stephen A. Smith claims victory after Jaylen Brown’s controversial Olympic snub

Stephen A. Smith has entered the chat.

The ESPN personality weighed in on the buzz surrounding Celtics star Jaylen Brown’s cryptic social media posts in wake of his teammate, guard Derrick White, being named to the 2024 USA Basketball Men’s National Team, which will compete at the Paris Olympics starting July 26.

“Do y’all believe me now? Yo (Brown), do I need to reveal my sources now? Is it not obvious now? How in the hell is a $300M man — now a champion and an NBA Finals MVP— who’s clearly a top-two player on the @celtics and a Top-15 player in the world, NOT chosen for Team-USA?” Smith wrote in a post on X, including Brown’s curious posts. “B/c his teammate NOT named [Jayson] Tatum is selected before him? Come on y’all!!!”

ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith reports before Game Three of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on June 12, 2024 in Dallas, Texas. Getty Images
Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics during the Boston Celtics Victory Parade following their 2024 NBA Finals win at TD Garden on June 21, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. Getty Images

There is a lot to unpack in Smith’s post.

After the news that White will replace Clippers star Kawhi Leonard on the Olympic roster, Brown posted a few emojis with a monocle on X — and he called out Nike, who designed the 2024 Olympic uniforms, in another post that read: “This what we doing?”

The 27-year-old Brown, who is not a Nike athlete, did not elaborate further after that.

Last July, Brown and the Celtics agreed to a five-year supermax extension worth up to $303.7 million — the richest deal in NBA history at the time.

Celtics star Jayson Tatum, who is on the 2024 roster for the Paris Games, surpassed that when he signed a reported five-year, $315 million supermax deal with Boston earlier this month.

Derrick White #9 of the Boston Celtics celebrates after a three point basket against the Dallas Mavericks during the fourth quarter of Game Five of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden on June 17, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. Getty Images

Brown went on to play a pivotal role in leading the Celtics to their 18th championship in franchise history when the Celtics beat the Mavericks in five games in the NBA Finals.

Brown was named Eastern Conference Finals MVP and NBA Finals MVP.

As for the part of Smith’s message that said, “do I need to reveal my sources now?” — that was a reference to when he called out Brown during the playoffs.

In May, Smith reported during an installment of “First Take” that Brown “wasn’t as marketable as he should be” because of his “I am better than you attitude.”

At the time, Brown called out Smith and said “state your source” in various posts on social media.

After he won Finals MVP, Brown called out Smith again in a post on Instagram, which featured him holding his trophy, captioned: “State your source @stephenasmith.”

Brown also wore a T-shirt with the message “State Your Source” during the Celtics’ championship parade in Boston.

Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics holds up the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award after Boston’s 106-88 win against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Five of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden on June 17, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. Getty Images

On Wednesday, Team USA announced White as Leonard’s replacement on the Olympic roster, which is headlined by LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Steph Curry.

“We just felt that we had to pivot,” USA Basketball Men’s National Team managing director Grant Hill said. “Not to get into the particulars in terms of what went into the decision but we just felt it was in our best interest, but also the Clippers and Kawhi’s best interest, to move into a different direction.”

Hill also addressed Brown’s social media post about Nike.

“For a good portion of my career, I wore Fila,” Hill said. “That was supposed to be a joke. We’re proud of our partners, obviously. … This is about putting together a team.”

Team USA said the Clippers determined it’s in Leonard’s best interest to spend the remainder of the summer preparing for the upcoming NBA season.

In addition to White, the 2024 USA Men’s National Team features Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers), Anthony Edwards (Minnesota Timberwolves), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), Tyrese Haliburton (Indiana Pacers), and Jrue Holiday (Boston Celtics).

The 2024 Paris Games will take place July 26-Aug. 11.

The U.S. men’s team open group play against Serbia on July 28. 

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