While discussing that Jokić isn’t the hardest NBA player to guard in the league right now, Smith described Jokić as a “big tub of lard.” This phrasing comes just days after Skip Bayless of Fox Sports was roasted for referring to the Serbian center as a “big tub of Crisco.”
Fans seem generally annoyed with this consistent description of the two-time NBA MVP.
“I understand that this big tub of lard that can't jump on to a curb is unstoppable,” Smith said. “I love Nikola Jokić. It's unbelievable to watch him. ... He ain't harder to guard than Stephen Curry.”
NBA fans also weren’t too happy with the rest of the ESPN analyst’s take as he argued that Warriors star Stephen Curry is more difficult to guard than Jokić. Smith went on to discuss how no one would disagree with him that Curry is the best shooter the league has ever seen.
Smith gave this take even though Jokić has delivered this postseason with averages of 30.4 points, 12.9 rebounds and 10.1 assists per game so far. The two players posted similar scoring numbers in the playoffs though with Curry landing at No. 3 in the league with an average of 30.5 points per game and Jokić close behind at No. 4.
Regardless, NBA fans couldn’t believe everything Smith was saying about the 6’11” center. Here’s some of the reactions to Smith’s description from Tuesday morning.
Why are we talking about shooters?— i. adan (@Imman_Adan) June 6, 2023
His rant just devolved into listing off shooters and saying Curry better than them?
What does Curry being a better shooter than Larry Bird and Allan Houston have to do with anything?
I am confusion. https://t.co/nhmTzk5ImF
ESPN is irredeemable. https://t.co/u8WCFRpzOS— Duncan Smith (@DuncanSmithNBA) June 6, 2023
untrained eyes and such https://t.co/QrXT6sNbs2— Jabari Ali Davis (@JabariDavisNBA) June 6, 2023
I mean they’re both the best offensive weapons in the league so neither argument is bad.. although why resort to “tub of lard”? https://t.co/NEBbWClMOL— Ryan🇵🇷 (RyTheBasketballGuy) (@Roddy_94) June 6, 2023
I'm sick of @stephenasmith @KendrickPerkins & @RealSkipBayless calling Nikola Jokic a "tub of lard."— RB 🐺 🐊 (@RickyBobbyCA) June 6, 2023
You all need to stop. It's disgusting behavior.#nikolajokic #DenverNuggets #NBAFinals #NBA https://t.co/S1e7IgssNl
The number of times SAS has called Jokic “a tub of lard” who “can’t jump onto a curb” in the last month is ridiculous. Get some new material, man 🤦🏻— Cait 🦁 (@_cait104) June 6, 2023