Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith are once again beefing, but this time the beef appears to be real.
Stephen A. Smith went on JJ Redick’s podcast and spoke about the origin story of First Take and how Skip Bayless begged him to join the show. Smith recounts being approached by Skip in the parking lot and that Bayless’ ratings weren’t good enough to keep the show afloat. Stephen A. spoke in great length what the precipice of the show was.
“Skip Bayless comes to me in the parking lot of ESPN’s campus in Bristol, Connecticut,” Smith said. “And he says, ‘I know you’ve got your plans. You love the NBA. You love being out on the road. You love being in the locker room. But I need you. I’ve done all that I could to take this as far as it can go. I need you, please. Just give me three years. I think we’ll knock it out of the park.’”
You can watch SAS explain below:
Skip spoke about Stephen A. Smith’s retelling of the First Take origins, an he was extremely hurt. Bayless says the comments from Stephen A. were the ultimate betrayal and they weren’t even true. While Bayless acknowledges Smith’s contributions, he feels as his former co-worker stretched the truth to fit a certain narrative.
“I thought, ‘how could my brother Stephen A. turn on me like that?’ On me? Seriously?” Bayless said.. “Stephen A. was suggesting that he saved and then made First Take. How can you save and make a show that was already as big a billion-to-one success story as ESPN had ever seen? The ratings and the revenues were impossibly great when Stephen A. joined me in 2012. With Stephen A. as my partner, First Take would never touch the NFL Monday ratings that it hit in 2011 pre-Stephen A. And I had taken First Take as far as I could? Seriously? I was just getting started. The rocket had just launched the year before in 2011. Stephen A., how dare you.”
— The Skip Bayless Show (@SkipBaylessShow) June 16, 2022
Both these guys have made out like bandits by fake arguing, and they definitely changed the landscape of sports television forever.
Not necessarily in a good way, but here we are.
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