Last week, Stephen A. Smith waded into the drama surrounding Shannon Sharpe’s abrupt exit from UNDISPUTED and Fox. Smith’s comments were taken as something of a backdoor invitation to try and woo Sharpe into joining him on First Take, Smith’s massively popular ESPN show.
“I don’t know what his plans are, I don’t know what he’s trying to pursue, I don’t know what he’s after. But if Shannon Sharpe needs me, I’m happy to be here for him,” Smith said on the Stephen A. Smith Show on June 2. “And if that included him wanting to come on First Take, the bosses at ESPN know that is something that I would support.” However, Smith has now clarified his comments as rampant speculation in recent days.
Stephen A. Smith Shouts Out ESPN Team
Speaking on The Stephen A. Smith Show, Smith clarified that he had not been looking to rustle any feathers with his comments. “Let me revisit a conversation that I had last week about Shannon Sharpe,” Smith began. “I meant what I said. I respect the brother. If he wants to come on First Take, I’m here for it. I support him. He wants to go elsewhere, that’s fine. He wants to get his own show and he’s got his own aspirations. I’m fine with that, too. Got a lot of respect again for Shannon Sharpe. But make no mistake about it, I love my crew.” Smith then proceeded to list all the various personalities that contribute to ESPN‘s coverage.
However, Smith continued. “And I would never ever ever sit up and tell anybody that I want anybody more than I want Michael Irvin. I welcome Shannon Sharpe to First Take. But it would be in the mix of being part of the family. I like the potpourri of contributors. I like the action and the excitement and the fun of the show. Adding people into the mix is one thing. Changing the complete makeup and formula of the show is entirely different and that ain’t happening for anyone.” Smith’s words make two things clear. Firstly, Shannon Sharpe moving to First Take would not see another personality leave. Secondly, if Sharpe wanted to join First Take, it would be on their terms and expectations, not his. Sharpe is yet to announce his next move but you can follow all the latest updates here at HotNewHipHop.