Stephen A. Smith appears on the latest Sports Illustrated Media Podcast with Jimmy Traina to share even more insight into what happened with Max Kellerman leaving First Take.
Smith wasn’t a fan of his on-air chemistry with Kellerman and he thinks the fans showed them that by not tuning in.
“I thought it ran its course. Even though we were number one. Numbers were dipping. Chemistry was an issue and you know, we needed to be better. I wasn’t pointing the finger at him. I was saying WE did not work as a pair.”
“I think that Max is one of the nicest guys in the world. He’s incredibly knowledgable about his boxing and other sports, by the way. I knew that there were a plethora of opportunities within the company for him to be a part of, which has been proven because he’s now with Keyshawn and Jay on a nationally syndicated radio show in the morning for four hours and he’s got his own national television show in the afternoons from 2 to 3, This Just In, which I think is doing well and I wish him nothing but the best. You know, I think that people get construed thinking, you know what Stephen A. doesn’t like Max. It couldn’t be further from the truth. I like him and respect him.”
“WE just weren’t working anymore because the audience was telling us that we had essentially just flatlined. We were the same. We weren’t fresh together. And so a result of that I told the bosses how I felt. Wishing him nothing but the best. Rooting for him. Making sure everybody knows if he needed me I wouldn’t hesitate to be there for him, but I’m not for going to apologize for anybody, to anybody rather, for being committed to winning. If I believe I’m part of a formula that’s not going to win any longer I’m going to change that formula. Whether its me moving on or them moving on. And that is the way I have always been. And that is the way I will continue to be.”
Smith seems happy and Kellerman has since launched his own show, This Just In, during ESPN’s afternoon slot.
However, the fans are continuing to speak as First Take has taken a huge dip in the ratings.