John Wall, Stephen A. Smith feud escalates on Twitter
It is not a happy new year for Washington Wizards point guard John Wall or ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith. At least, not when it comes to the beef they’ve got with each other.
To catch everyone up, Smith has been a frequent critic of Wall. Earlier this season, he accused Wall via Twitter of spending too much time at clubs instead of working on becoming a better player. He named one place in particular: Rosebar, an establishment in Northwest Washington, where TMZ once spotted Wall.
Anyway, now Wall is shut down for the year to undergo surgery on bone spurs in his heel that have bothered him for more than a year. In remarks to the media on Monday, Wall went out of his way to address a “conspiracy” Smith brought up on Twitter that the timing of his decision was due to the fact that he was not likely to make the All-Star Game.
Wall himself didn’t name names, and when pressed to say who he was talking about, he said, “You know who the guy is,” according to NBC Sports Washington.
That’s where this story escalates. Quickly.
NBC Sports Washington’s Wizards reporter, Chase Hughes, tweeted the following during Wall’s press availability:
John Wall on who is almost certainly Stephen A. Smith: “You know who the guy is... It’s like this, if you have a personal problem with me, come talk to me like a man... when you want to take things to a personal level, you can have a conversation with me 1-on-1 as a man.” Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) December 31, 2018
And then this happened later Monday evening:
Hey @ChaseHughesNBCS, just saw your tweet regarding @JohnWall. Quote this: I dont want to hear a damn thing from Wall about talking to him man-to-man. I showed at one game and waited for him in the locker room; he wouldnt come out. I showed up again when they played @celtics Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) December 31, 2018
And @JohnWall still didnt want to talk, @ChaseHughesNBCS. Ive said nothing to take back and I damn sure dont hide from anyone. What I said about Wall not being in great shape and struggling periodically was FACT. His appearance at the Rose Bar was courtesy of TMZ, not me! Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) December 31, 2018
And as for my questioning the timing of @JohnWall possibly having surgery, thats what we feel as fans from witnessing whats unfolded over this season. Wall knows me. Rich Paul knows me. And there isnt a soul in sports who doesnt know how to find me. Any time @ChaseHughesNBCS Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) December 31, 2018
So the next time @JohnWall or any player tells you they are looking for me for a man to-man convo, @ChaseHughesNBCS, tell them to name the time and place and Ill show up. Id welcome it...even on my damn vacation. Im not the one hiding. Never have! Never will! Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) December 31, 2018
The Washington Times can confirm that Smith has attended at least two Wizards home games in the young 2018-19 season. In the third tweet, Smith references Rich Paul, Wall’s agent, who also represents the likes of LeBron James.
But Smith’s decision to tag Hughes in each of his four non-threaded tweets seemed a deliberate choice to embroil into the feud a third party who was only doing his job. Smith has 3.89 million Twitter followers and each of his tweets received a ton of attention from his fans, which would also ping Hughes’ notifications for being tagged in the exchange. Smith himself is a former reporter like Hughes, but he’s left that life behind.
Wall hit back with one reply later that night:
Lol bra I walked passed me wit ur head down afta I got my x ray for my foot afta Boston game...stop cappin bra u know me...IDC who u know from my camp, stop hidin...Seem like u got a personal problem wit me not bout basketball John Wall (@JohnWall) January 1, 2019
But Smith stood by his defense: that he does not hide from disagreements like this and was accessible to NBA stars like Wall at any time.
Not true! pic.twitter.com/VYoXBIZYea Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) January 1, 2019
Wall is scheduled to undergo his surgery sometime this week with Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay, Wisconsin, so who knows when the Wall/Smith feud will pick up again?