Stephen Anthony Smith is an American sports television personality, sports radio host, and sports journalist. Smith is a commentator on ESPN’s First Take, where he appears with Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim. He also makes frequent appearances as an NBA analyst on SportsCenter.
Stephen A.Smith Biography, Career, Wikipedia
Stephen A. Smith was born on October 14, 1967 in Bronx, New York, United States. He was raised in the Hollis section of Queens. Smith is the fifth of six children. He has four older sisters and had a younger brother, Basil, who died in a car accident in 1992. He also has a half-brother on his father’s side. Smith’s parents were originally from Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. His father managed a hardware store. Smith’s maternal grandmother was white, the rest of his grandparents black. He graduated in 1986 from Thomas Edison High School in Queens.
On April 11, 2005, Smith became the host of a weekday noon to 2 p.m. radio show on WEPN in New York City with his “right-hand man B.T. (Brandon Tierney)”. On September 20, 2007, the show was shifted to the 2–4 p.m. slot, with the second hour being broadcast nationally on ESPN Radio, replacing the third hour of The Dan Patrick Show (Mike Tirico took over the first two hours). Smith’s show came to an end in April 2008 as he sought to expand his career in television, and beginning May 1, Scott Van Pelt began hosting in the 3–4 p.m. hour that was previously Smith’s.
In November 2009, Smith became an on-air contributor to Fox Sports Radio and broke the story of Allen Iverson’s retirement on the Chris Myers–Steve Hartman afternoon show on November 25. Iverson later ended his short retirement and re-joined the Philadelphia 76ers on December 2. Smith became a Fox Sports Radio morning show host on January 4, 2010, replacing Washington, D.C.-based host Steve Czaban. On his radio program, Smith correctly predicted that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh would all sign with the Miami Heat during 2010 free agency. In early 2011, Smith became a resident FSR NBA insider and ended his morning show.
It was announced on February 1, 2011, that Smith would be returning to ESPN as a columnist for ESPN.com and host for weekday local radio shows on 1050 ESPN Radio New York (WEPN-AM) at 7–9 p.m. ET as well as 710 ESPN Radio Los Angeles (KSPN-AM) at 6–8 p.m. PT. April 24, 2012, was Smith’s last show for LA 710 ESPN.
In 2013, Smith left ESPN for Sirius XM Radio, where he joined Chris Russo’s Mad Dog Sports Channel. The move was announced just one day after Smith made some controversial comments on ESPN2’s First Take program regarding the Ray Rice situation.
On January 17, 2017, Smith moved from Sirius XM’s Mad Dog Sports channel back to ESPN. His daily two-hour program is heard on WEPN in New York, KSPN in Los Angeles, Sirius XM’s ESPN channel, and via syndication.
Smith is currently one of the hosts of First Take on ESPN. He also appears as an analyst on various ESPN programs. He is known for provocative analysis and dour delivery.
Smith started his television career on the now-defunct cable network CNN/SI in 1999.
In August 2005, Smith started hosting a daily hour-long show on ESPN called Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith. After the show was cancelled in January 2007, he mainly concentrated on basketball, serving as an NBA analyst. He also appeared on other ESPN shows, including the reality series Dream Job, as well as serving as a frequent guest (and guest host) on Pardon the Interruption, Jim Rome Is Burning, and as a participant on 1st and 10. He appeared as an anchor on the Sunday morning edition of SportsCenter. On April 17, 2009, Smith announced on his website that he would be leaving ESPN on May 1, 2009. The Los Angeles Times reported that ESPN commented that, “We decided to move in different directions.” Though according to Big Lead Sports, a source says that ESPN and Smith went to the negotiating table and could not reach an agreement.
Smith later returned to ESPN, and it was announced on April 30, 2012, on air that Smith would be joining First Take on a permanent, five-days-per-week basis under a new format for the show called “Embrace Debate” in which he squares off against longtime First Take commentator Skip Bayless.
On July 25, 2014, Smith made controversial remarks on First Take that women may provoke domestic abuse, in regards to the domestic violence situation involving Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice and his wife. After criticism of the remarks, including comments on Twitter from ESPN reporter Michelle Beadle, Smith apologized for his words on a taped segment on ESPN. On July 29, 2014, Smith was suspended by ESPN for a week and did not appear on any of their programs again until August 6, 2014.
In late 2014, Smith signed a multi-year deal with ESPN that will pay him over $3 million per year.
In a March 9, 2015, episode of First Take, while discussing the topic of Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach Chip Kelly trading away running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso, Smith said: “Chip Kelly has made decisions over the last couple of years that, dare I say, leave a few brothers feeling uncomfortable.” Michael David Smith of NBS Sports believed that Smith had hinted Kelly’s roster moves regarding the 2014 release of wide receiver DeSean Jackson, the McCoy trade, and letting wide receiver Jeremy Maclin depart for free agency to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs, while still keeping wide receiver Riley Cooper on the Eagles’ roster might be racially motivated. In an interview with ESPN The Magazine that was published on May 8, 2015, McCoy admitted that while he respected Kelly as a head coach, he did not see eye to eye with him. McCoy also believed that some of the roster moves that are being made by Kelly are racially motivated. Kelly has said that the roster moves that he has made have nothing to do with race, it has to do with finding the right players that fit well into his team. Smith defended his comments by saying that he never used a form of the word racism to imply that Kelly was a racist.
On June 11, 2015, Smith received criticism for a comment he made about female soccer players during the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. While on SportsCenter, a replay was shown of a goal scored by Norway on a free kick against Germany. Tim Legler pointed out that the German players forming the wall turned their heads as the ball went by, and Smith joked that the players “might not have wanted to mess up their hair.” Smith’s comment was criticized as being sexist and a poor joke. ESPN said they spoke with Smith about the comment, and he later apologized in a series of tweets.
On November 5, 2016, Smith joined Top Rank’s broadcasting team for the Manny Pacquiao vs. Jessie Vargas boxing pay-per-view event. In 2019, Smith became a UFC commentator as ESPN became the UFC’s television broadcaster.
In 2020, Smith served as a commentator for the after-party coverage of the 92nd Academy Awards on ABC.
On June 10, 2021 Smith broke into the soccer coverage space as he put it “let’s do that soccer”. Smith selected a Euro2020 team and followed this up with another soccer segment called “Ain’t No Way” on June 14, 2021.
Stephen A. Smith Marriage, Relationship, Children
In a December 11, 2019, interview with GQ, Smith disclosed that he has two daughters, aged 10 and 11 years old at the time. He was once engaged. When asked why he never went through with the marriage, he said, “It didn’t work out. Matter of fact, I just told my sister that the other day: none of your business … Something about my job and my money. I said this is not a discussion. You’ll get an answer if I want to give you an answer.”