ESPN First Take Stephen A. Smith On Max Kellerman ‘I Didn’t Like Working With Him,’ Says They Havent Spoken Since

Stephen A. Smith exposed why he required Max Kellerman off ESPN’s First Take in an interview on Hot 97 in September 2021. The sports tv character and reporter informed radio hosts Ebro Darden and Peter Rosenberg, “Yes, I did [want him off the show].”

Smith went on to discuss that it was never ever individual. Rather, it was an expert company choice.

“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,” he stated.

“The reason I’m unapologetic about my position, No. 1, is that it’s no knock versus him expertly, his work principles, and all of that other things, his skill. It’s not like I desired the man to be fired. I understood there were landing areas for him readily available at this network that would produce simply as much, if not more earnings for him and all of that other things.

“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.”

Smith discussed the significance of “keeping things fresh” on First Take and keeping “chemistry.” Although Smith stated things were cool in between him and Kellerman, that doesn’t appear to be the case today in 2023.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith states he “didn’t like working with” Max Kellerman on First Take, exposes they haven’t spoken considering that Kellerman’s departure in September 2021

Since that interview, other information have actually emerged on ESPN making that modification on the early morning program. Two years later on, the sports reporter is still informing his side of the story.

During a current episode of “The Joe Budden Podcast,” Smith was asked what he would state to the audiences who state they saw the stress in between him and Kellerman prior to his departure from the program.

“I heard some of it. I would take full responsibility for that. It was totally my fault and the reason it was my fault is because I didn’t like working with him. It’s just that damn simple. I didn’t like it. I thought the show was stale. I thought that we had flatlined when it came to the public at large. I didn’t want to go from No. 1 to No. 2. when Skip [Bayless] left. I wasn’t having that. That s—t wasn’t gonna happen.”

Go to the 2:04:01 mark in the YouTube video listed below for Smith’s newest interview.

“I had mad regard for him [Kellerman] from the viewpoint of white guy, extremely smart, Ivy League–informed from Columbia [University]. Smart as a whip. Can talk his ass off. Can discuss anything. I get all that. But you weren’t a professional athlete, and you weren’t a reporter. And the lack of the 2 parts left individuals questioning, ‘Why should we listen to you?’

“O.K., well you might have had that figured out on SportsNation or you might have had figured it out on another show, but on this show, if you looked at the content emanating from the social stratosphere, meaning YouTube and other components used to measure, one is cache, Q ratings, focus groups, all of these different things.”

Stephen A. Smith didn’t feel greater scores were possible with Kellerman, thinks him and Max never ever worked well together

Did Stephen A. Smith seem like he was bring the program alone? That seems real.

“It was like I was damn near doing the show by myself because we were oceans apart in terms of cache,” Smith discussed. “Well, how are you oceans apart from me if you’re sitting throughout from me for 5 days a week for the entire 2 hours? Because among us is resonating, and among us is not because platform.

“I resembled, ‘Look, this is what it is.’ And we had a variety of discussions, individually numerous, lot of times. I understand this audience, I understand what they require, and so on, and so on. At some point, you’re gonna do what you require to do, or you don’t, and if you don’t do what you require to do, I’m gonna get someone who will. That’s me. I made no qualms about it.

“I didn’t have the authority to let him go. So what I did was, I’ve been extremely constant, extremely truthful, there’s no individual. We weren’t opponents, to be genuine we haven’t spoken considering that, besides ‘hi and bye’ or if I needed to go on the program when they were doing the early morning program, I would get spoken with.

“But there’s been no conversations since. And that’s fine with me. That’s no problem because it wasn’t like we were boys or anything like that. But at the end of the day, it was all business to me. It was about, ‘Look, man, I’m trying to win and I don’t believe I can with you.’ That doesn’t mean it’s your fault. It means we don’t work.”

Did Smith make inconsistent declarations?

Additionally, it appears unusual in the September 2021 radio interview that Stephen A. Smith stated he didn’t have a bad relationship with Kellerman, and he believed he was a “real good guy.” Because later on, they stopped talking with each other as frequently as they did on First Take. Sure, they went their own different methods.

However, Stephen A. Smith likewise stated the 2 were never ever “buds.” Co-employees can be terrific good friends, so Smith’s newest interview most likely puzzled audiences. Maybe Smith is worthy of the advantage of the doubt. For a live dispute program, chemistry in between co-hosts is essential. The ESPN press reporter felt it simply wasn’t there.

“It also wasn’t my decision,” Smith stated in his initial radio interview. “I gave my recommendation [to ESPN]. They ask it, I tell it. Every single year when the NBA season comes to an end, the bosses ask me where I stand. … And I also told Max that.”

Not to discuss, distinctions on political concerns might have been the tipping point.

In June 2023, Kellerman was fired by ESPN after working as the host of This Just In with Max Kellerman and as co-host of Keyshawn, JWill and Max on ESPN Radio.

Now, NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe, the previous co-host of FS1’s Skip and Shannon: Undisputed, disputes Stephen A. Smith two times weekly on Mondays and Tuesdays on First Take.

Furthermore, ex-ESPN commentator Rachel Nichols signed up with Skip Bayless on Undisputed, changing Sharpe. She likewise signed up with previous NFL cornerback Richard Sherman and rap star Lil Wayne as panelists on the program.

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