Stephen A. Smith: Not Making Friends

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iverson.jpgESPN’s hearsay column — Player X, where an anonymous NBA player writes about what people are saying around the league, so you know it’s all true — had some interesting third-hand information this week:

NBA players are ticked at Stephen A. Smith for his recent writings about Allen Iverson’s drinking and gambling problems (the piece is behind the Insider firewall at the WWL).

Now, everyone in the league knows Allen has been a big partier his entire career. Crazy thing is, he actually drinks a lot less than he used to. I know there was talk because Allen was at some party on a night he was supposed to be playing. But right now NBA players are just talking about how they can’t believe Stephen A. chose to write that column now, when Allen’s partying is way, way tamer than it used to be. We all think the timing is suspicious.

I haven’t talked to Allen, so I don’t know how he feels about all this. But guys around the league think Stephen A. took a cheap shot, that he kicked a man when he was down.

“Player X” goes on to say he has heard some of the Sixers want to confront Smith next time he walks in the team locker room.

Iverson is an icon among younger players — better players on the Sixers deferred to him on the court even though it was not the best basketball decision. No shock that they would stick up for him and defend him. But as for the level of Iverson’s drinking — does anyone not named Allen Iverson really know how bad it is?