Recently, Stephen A. Smith reported Bulls point guard Lonzo Ball has trouble standing up from a seated position, due to the pain and injury in his left knee. In March, Ball had his third straight surgery on his left knee, this time a cartilage transplant, leaving him out for the 2023-24 season.
Ball responded to Smith's report with a Twitter video. In the video, Ball asks Smith "Who are your sources?" as he easily stands up and down from a chair only using his injured leg. To Bulls fans who saw the report, Ball's ability to do single-leg squats on his injured leg is eye-opening, and a positive benchmark.
On Wednesday, Smith responded to Ball's response, faulting him for making a video proclaiming his healthy status. His response, unsurprisingly, is outrageous.
"You really gonna sit poolside on a bench and think because you're getting up and sitting down and getting up and sitting down that makes you healthy?" Smith said on ESPN. "Does that have anything to do with running up and down the d--n court for 30-35 minutes per night? Come on, bro.
"Bro, you ain't healthy. You've missed about 48% of your games. And you're only four years into your career. And on top of it all, you would think because he missed all of last season, and 47 games the season before that, and you're scheduled to miss games until at least the new year this upcoming season that you wouldn't make a video proclaiming you're healthy."
Smith's response is quite discouraging and, again, inaccurate. He's forgetting the root of the argument.
This is what Smith reported on ESPN about Ball: "I've heard that it's hard for him to get up from a sitting position."
Clearly, from Ball's video, his report is incorrect. Yes, Ball is experiencing a career-threatening injury that will leave him unable to play basketball next season. But, Smith's report was factually incorrect. Ball, clearly, isn't experiencing that discomfort.
Smith challenged Ball for producing the video, saying "Does that have anything to do with running up and down the d--n court for 30-35 minutes per night?" No, it doesn't. That's why he didn't make a video of him running up and down a court for 30-35 minutes.
He's correct in saying Ball has missed an inordinate amount of time for his knee in the NBA, and that he's currently not healthy.
If you count last season, Ball has gone through six seasons in the NBA, not four. Ball has missed precisely, as Smith mentioned, 48% of the games in his NBA career. If you calculate for his expected missed time over the 2023-24 season, Ball will have missed roughly 56% of his career games. That's inarguably concerning and objectively unhealthy.
But, you would think for a player Smith claims to have an affinity for him and his family, and for a player who is going through one of the rarest, career-threatening injuries in NBA history, he'd show some empathy. Instead, he chose to grill Ball for posting a video exposing an inaccurate report about the details of his knee.
Come on, bro.