ESPN’s announcer Stephen A. Smith addresses the rumors relating to Max Kellerman. Smith confirms the reports that said he wanted Kellerman off of ESPN’s First Take. Throughout the entire Hot 97 interview, he spoke very highly of Kellerman. He stated several times that Kellerman is “a real good guy”; however, Smith also stated that he didn’t think they had “a great partnership” any longer after doing First Take together for the past five years.
Stephen A. Smith Sets The Record Straight
Smith wanted to clear the air by clarifying reports that leaked about his dislike for Kellerman were undoubtedly false.
“Those reports of me disliking Max are an absolute lie. I actually got a lot of love for the guy,” Stephen A. explained. “If he stays on the show, so be it. He departs, it will be because they have other things they want him to do.”
Stephen A. Smith on Max Kellerman leaving ESPN's First Take: "Those reports of me disliking Max are an absolute lie. I actually got a lot of love for the guy.
"If he stays on the show, so be it. If he departs, it will be because they have other things they want him to do." pic.twitter.com/OLb5ec991f
— 👑 Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson 📍 (@ScoopB) August 19, 2021
In the same breath, Smith wanted to clarify that the rumors were accurate in terms of wanting Kellerman off the show. Although, they don’t have a deteriorating relationship Smith believes this relationship to have run its course as a partner. He related this situation in his interview with Hot 97 back to championship-winning teams in sports. He mentioned how many teams never truly stay the exact same away even after winning championships. Smith believes change is inevitable and vital to growth in any aspect of life.
“The rumor’s accurate in terms of me wanting him off the show. Let’s get that out the way. Yes, I did,” Smith said during his interview with Hot 97. “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 continued, “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.”
ESPN future plans
ESPN has announced Kellerman’s departure from First Take. Kellerman is projected to host a new ESPN series. Kellerman’s new program, “This Just In,” will debut September 14 at 2 p.m., and offer news, opinion, and analysis of trending sports headlines as well as looking ahead at potential sports news from the evening ahead, per sources.