Stephen A. Smith got into a war of words with Boston Celtics star Jaylen Brown in May, and the ESPN personality brought back that drama before Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday.

Smith in late May shared a text message from an “NBA source” who made a case why Brown’s not as “marketable” as other players of his caliber. The source argued the All-NBA guard “is not liked because of his ‘I am better than you’ attitude.”

Brown responded days later by asking the popular talking head to reveal his source. Smith didn’t oblige and defended himself by pointing out he used that text to make an argument as to why they were wrong.

The response wasn’t met kindly by Celtics fans, but as Smith made the case for an NBA title meaning more for Brown, he referenced the report again with a different spin for the 27-year-old.

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“Brilliant young man. Superstar-caliber kind of talent,” Smith said on ESPN’s “First Take” on Friday. “Big-time talent. $300 million player. Model citizen. Doesn’t get into any trouble whatsoever. He’s an activist at heart. Politically consciousness. Speaks his mind. Believes in speaking truth to power. And I think, from what I’ve been told, he’s also a Muslim. And I bring all of that up because when we talk about marketability, you think about all of the kinds of things that should say, ‘This guy should be every bit as marketable as anybody in the NBA.’ … He deserves better. He deserves better than he’s been treated. He doesn’t even have a sneaker deal, to my understanding, since he stopped doing his deal a few years back with Adidas. He doesn’t have a sneaker deal. Where are the endorsement dollars?”

To Smith’s credit, he did vote for Brown on the All-NBA Third Team, and he praised the three-time All-Star for his social activism.

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While it might have been similar to his original point, fans couldn’t help but point out how effusive in his praise Smith was for Brown. And there could be even more coming his way if Boston is able to complete the sweep of the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night at American Airlines Center.

Featured image via Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports Images