Howard Stern’s comments about Black NBA players giving him the cold shoulder while sitting court side has garnered responses from a number of athletes and pundits.
Former NBA player J.R. Smith recently weighed in on the topic of Stern’s treatment by Black NBA players, arguing that many may not be aware of his accolades or stature given their generational gap. “I’m sorry but what basketball player listens to him lol I don’t think I’ve met one! Black or not!” the former New York Knicks star tweeted on Saturday (May 6) in response to a similar sentiment made by journalist Taylor Rooks.
“Howard Stern is one of the most talented interviewers of all time,” Rooks wrote of the legendary shock jock on Friday (May 5). “With that being said, this is a ridiculous stance ? many of them simply have no idea who he is. And people not knowing you isn’t an insult.”
Stern touched on the lack of interaction he’s had with Black NBA players during a recent radio appearance alongside Robin Quivers, juxtaposing his experience with that of a Black celebrity like Spike Lee. “They put me courtside! And the Black players won’t come over and say hello to me,” Stern told Quivers. “But they go over to Spike Lee.”
When asked if the athletes acknowledge him at all, Stern remained adamant in his claim of the unceremonious reception he’s received.
“I’ll be sitting next to Tracy Morgan or Chris Rock,” Stern continued. “You know, they seat you where they seat you. And a lot of times when I’m there, I’m next to Tracy Morgan, who is so funny. And he’s sitting there and like, a couple of the players will come over. They like give him that bro shake and stuff. And I’m like — these guys should hug me too. I mean, what am I? I grew up in a Black neighborhood, you know what I mean? I mean they should know that. But I get ignored.”
The radio jock did admit that he doesn’t believe the lack of acknowledgement is rooted in racial prejudice. “No, not that I saw. I want them to. I want them to talk to me. I want them to come up and go, ‘Hey Howard, fan of the show or something.’ I don’t get that,” he said. “And, you know who comes up to me sometimes — the referees. White guys and Black guys, they’ll come up to me, White referees and Black. Like, ‘Hey Howard, hey.’ But yeah, a lot of the White referees. So I’m like, oh, is everything racial now? Can I get a shout-out from some of the players?”
In his comments, Stern, 69, referred to players from the New York Knicks, as he’s a diehard fan of his hometown team. The New York Knicks recently won their first playoff matchup in a decade with their victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. The Knicks are currently trailing 2-1 in their second round match-up against the Miami Heat.