Reports have surfaced that claim Stephen A Smith was the one who had Max Kellerman taken off of First Take on ESPN.
News surrounding Max Kellerman and his departure from ‘First Take’ had been making rounds all over NBA Twitter and Reddit for weeks. A couple days ago, the rumors were validated as ESPN announced they would be taking Kellerman off as a co-host alongside Stephen A Smith and are set to replace him with recurring analysts.
Stephen A Smith shared co-hosting duties on First Take for a solid 5 years and had a couple memorable moments to go along with them. Everything from Max Kellerman saying he wants Andre Iguodala over Stephen Curry to take the last shot to Terrell Owens saying Max is ‘blacker’ than SAS, First Take has been quite the show since Max’s arrival.
Sure, filling Skip Bayless’s shoes in terms of being a foil to Stephen A Smith is a difficult task to go through with but it’s clear that Max Kellerman was much more of a match for Smith on an intellectual level. According to reports, this is what led to their eventual fallout.
Stephen A Smith reportedly wanted Max Kellerman off of First Take.
New York Post columnist, Andrew Marchand, took to his Twitter page to say that it was Stephen A Smith who was the catalyst in having Max Kellerman taken off of their show together. It was reportedly nothing personal and that Smith felt Kellerman’s ‘smartest guy in the room’ attitude was not something he wanted to go up against.
According to @AndrewMarchand, Stephen A. Smith has wanted Max Kellerman off First Take ‘for years’
“Though it wasn’t personal, according to sources, Kellerman has a ‘smartest guy in the room’ attitude, and Smith wanted more of a debating challenger.” pic.twitter.com/00HkFgSrzV
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) September 2, 2021
Skip Bayless, as proven by his appearances on Undisputed alongside Shannon Sharpe, is a better fit with Stephen A as the two are both heavily reliant on speaking in higher decibels. Max on the other hand, usually has a bit more of an intricate answer planned out. Now, this doesn’t mean he hasn’t been wrong before because Max most certainly has been wrong on several occasions.
As for who will star opposite to Stephen A Smith with Max Kellerman gone; Michael Irvin will exchange hot takes with him on Mondays while Tim Tebow will take to the show on Fridays.