It all begin when Stephen A. Smith went on JJ Redick’s podcast and claimed that Skip was struggling at ESPN before he showed up.
Skip was completely taken back by Stephen A’s retelling of how it went down, and it led to a very heartfelt response on his show.
“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
Smith issued a statement on Twitter where he basically said that not once did he ever lie about Bayless or the state of affairs. Smith claims he was simply relaying facts that had been told to him by higher-ups at the network.
“Skip Bayless is my brother,” Stephen A. said. “I will always love this man and I will always be grateful. No matter how far I continue to climb, I have him to thank. My comments about the state of First Take at that time is what I was told. It certainly wasn’t meant to slight my brother.”
My only comments on this matter. pic.twitter.com/UXA1OBKYhx
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 16, 2022
On the latest episode of his show, Skip noted that he sat by his pool with Stephen A. over the weekend, and they were able to hash things out.
I trust Stephen A with my life. I will always have his back. https://t.co/05Z6j7fjRh
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 24, 2022
The love is always here, my brother. Always! We Are Good! https://t.co/iyXXrFl7nK
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) June 24, 2022
Both dudes are laughing all the way to the bank.
The idea of them being butthurt at each other was really nice while it lasted…
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