- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 1, 2019

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:

And then this happened later Monday evening:

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:

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.

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?

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