Is it too late now to say sorry?
ESPN talking head Stephen A. Smith apologized on live TV Sunday night after the Toronto Raptors defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, evening the series at two games a piece. Smith previously had his belief that Cleveland would, at worst, leave Canada with a three-games-to-one series lead.
Of course, that didn’t happen, as Raptors All-Stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan showed up in a big way, scoring a combined 119 points in Games 3 and 4 en route to two straight home victories.
Smith, stunned by the outcome, reacted in the aftermath.
“I can’t believe what I saw. I’ve gotta be a man of my word and just apologize to Canada — all Canadians everywhere,” Smith said on ESPN following Game 4, “because I certainly thought this was going back to Cleveland three (games to) one Cleveland with the Cavs closing this series out on Wednesday night (in Game 5) so I wouldn’t have to go back to Canada and go through customs and all of that other nonsense.
“But that’s not how it went down. That’s not how it was meant to be. Kyle Lowry was absolutely unstoppable (in Game 4) — I don’t understand why. DeMar DeRozan was unstoppable when it counted — I don’t understand why, considering LeBron James had been on him a couple of times. … In the end, it’s inexplicable. … I can’t believe the turnaround.”
Smith also elaborated on why the Cavaliers lost the game — as opposed to how the Raptors won it. And while his analysis might be accurate, it sort of watered down his apology.
Still, a humbled Stephen A. is one Canada certainly can live with.
Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images