When it comes to debating the NBA, NFL, MLB, or pretty much every single thing that goes down in the sports world, few analysts are as outspoken, blunt, and often hilarious as ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.
Smith has been one of the most prominent figures in the sports industry for decades now. Love him or hate him, people can't help to listen to what he's got to say, even if he contradicts himself every now and then.
So, when ESPN announced that Max Kellerman wasn't going to continue to appear in First Take as Smiths' debate partner, people wondered whether the Dallas Cowboys' number one hater had forced them to make that choice.
Stephen A. Smith Admits He Wanted Max Kellerman Off First Take
That's why, as blunt as straightforward as he's always been, Smith didn't beat around the bush and faced the rumors face up. He confirmed that he didn't want Kellerman to be in the show anymore, not because of any bad blood between them but because of their chemistry:
“The rumors are accurate in terms of me wanting him off the show,” Smith said on Ebro in the Morning. "We don't have a bad relationship. I think he's a real good guy, I appreciate what he did for the show, we were number one for five years, we stayed number one, and I appreciate that. It wasn't really about asking him to be off the show, it was about the fact that I knew that we, together -- as far as I was concerned -- was not a great partnership anymore and that was something that needed to change. A lot of people don’t realize not just the work that goes into it, but it’s a chemistry you have and sometimes it just stalls.”
Kellerman sure starred in some iconic moments in First Take (I want Iguodala!!!) but he often struggled to keep up with Smith's historically hilarious rants. Now, the network will have to find someone who can.
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