“It’s been a wonderful, wonderful ride, filled with great accomplishments, great memories and, most importantly, great friendships.” -Stephen A. Smith
We all knew it was going to happen eventually because of course, all things do come to an end. But I didn’t expect for it to happen so soon — so sudden.
On Friday, May 1, Stephen A. Smith will be leaving ESPN after six years with the world’s biggest in sports and entertainment network. Through the years, Stephen A. served as an NBA analyst, had a two year stint as host of his own show Quite Frankly, has appeared on numerous other shows such as Outside the Lines and The Sports Reporters and just recently was a columnist for ‘ESPN the Magazine.’
Known as ‘Screaming’ A. Smith for his brash and often loud opinions, Stephen A. addressed this dimension of his character in a ‘ESPNMag’ column last year. An emailer asked Stephen A. if he’s truly an angry black man or is it a way of creating an identity.
“I just happen to speak on issues with passion and energy because that’s how I feel and I aspire to convey that to my audience at all times,” Stephen A. said. “I do not pretend, nor do I fake what I’m feeling for any reason.”
That statement is best exemplified here when Stephen A. commented on the Burress shooting and black athletes.
Love him or hate him, Stephen A. helped change the face of ESPN by ushering in a whole new culture to sports broadcasting, maybe inspiring a new generation of sports journalists. What would 1st and 10 be without a few days of Stephen A. and Skip Bayless?
So, for the second time, I bid adieu to Stephen A.