Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith
Stephen A Smith cropped.jpg
Born Stephen Anthony Smith
(1967-10-14) October 14, 1967 (age 46)
New York, New York, U.S.
Residence Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Education Winston-Salem State University
Occupation Sports journalist, television host, radio host

Stephen Anthony Smith[1] (born October 14, 1967), more commonly known as Stephen A., is a talk show host, television personality, and a former American sports journalist.[2] Smith is a commentator on ESPN First Take, where he appears with Skip Bayless and Cari Champion. Smith also currently hosts The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show on ESPN Radio New York 98.7 FM, and is a featured columnist for

Smith gained fame for being the first major NBA journalist to predict that LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh would all sign with the Miami Heat during 2010 free agency.[3]

Early years

Smith was born in New York City, and was raised in the Hollis section of Queens[4] He is the second youngest of six children.[1][5] He has four older sisters, and a younger brother named Basil, who tragically died in a car accident on October 14, 1992, which also happens to be Smith's birthday. He also has a half brother on his father's side. Smith's parents were originally from Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and his father managed a hardware store. Smith graduated from Thomas Edison High School in Queens.[6]

After attending the Fashion Institute of Technology for two years, Smith received a basketball scholarship to attend Winston-Salem State University, a historically black university in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. While in college, he played basketball under Hall of Fame coach Clarence Gaines. While still on the team, Smith wrote a column for the university newspaper, The News Argus, arguing Gaines should retire due to health issues. Smith later transferred to Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina.[7] He is a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity.


Print media

Smith began his print media career with the Winston-Salem Journal, the Greensboro News and Record and the New York Daily News.

Since 1994, Smith has had a position as a writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He began reporting on the Philadelphia 76ers as their NBA columnist, and eventually, as a general sports columnist. On August 23, 2007, the Inquirer announced that Smith would no longer be writing columns and would instead be demoted back to the position of general assignment reporter. In 2008, the Inquirer ended its relationship with Smith, which coincided with Smith starting his own blog, In February 2010, Smith returned to the Philadelphia Inquirer after winning an arbitrator's ruling that he was to be reinstated, but having to agree to remove all of his political views from his website and from cable news shows.[8]


On April 11, 2005, Smith became the host of a weekday noon to 2 p.m. radio show on WEPN in New York City with his "right-hand man B.T. (Brandon Tierney)". On September 20, 2007, his radio show was shifted to the 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. slot, with the second hour being broadcast nationally on ESPN Radio, replacing The Dan Patrick Show (Mike Tirico took over the first two hours). The show came to an end in April 2008 as Smith sought to expand his career in television, and beginning May 1 Scott Van Pelt began hosting in the 3–4 p.m. hour that was previously Smith's.

In November 2009, Smith became an on-air contributor to Fox Sports Radio, and was the one who broke the story of Allen Iverson's retirement on the Chris Myers-Steve Hartman afternoon show on November 25. Iverson later ended his short retirement, and re-joined the Philadelphia 76ers on December 2.

Smith became a Fox Sports Radio morning show host on January 4, 2010, replacing popular longtime Washington, D.C.-based host Steve Czaban. Smith can also be heard from time to time as a caller to the Mark Levin and Sean Hannity radio shows.

In early 2011, Smith became a resident FSR NBA insider and ended his morning show, which was replaced by the Indianapolis-based Zakk and Jack show.

It was announced on February 1, 2011, that he would be returning to ESPN as a columnist for and host weekday local radio shows on 1050 ESPN Radio New York (WEPN-AM) at 7–9 p.m. ET as well as 710 ESPN Radio Los Angeles (KSPN-AM) at 6–8 p.m. PT. April 24, 2012 was Smith's last show for LA 710 ESPN.[9]

It has been reported in an article written by Bob Raissman of the NY Daily News that Smith would leave ESPN 98.7 NY and could be headed to Sirius XM Radio, where he would join Chris Russo's Mad Dog Channel. This report comes a day after Smith made some controversial comments on ESPN 2's First Take regarding the Ray Rice situation. [10]


Smith started his television career on the now-defunct cable network CNN/SI in 1999.

Smith is currently an analyst and talk show host on ESPN and ESPN First Take. In August 2005, he started hosting a daily hour-long show on ESPN called Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith. After the show was cancelled due to comments Smith made about the recent MVP voting that were deemed racist in January 2007, he mainly concentrated on basketball, serving as an NBA analyst.

Smith is known for provocative analysis and dour delivery. Smith has appeared on other ESPN shows as well, including the reality series Dream Job, as well as serving as a frequent guest (and guest host) on Pardon the Interruption, Jim Rome is Burning and as a popular participant on 1st and 10 . He has appeared as an anchor on the Sunday morning edition of SportsCenter, but on April 17, 2009 announced on his website that he would be leaving ESPN on May 1, 2009. The Los Angeles Times reported that ESPN commented that, "We decided to move in different directions."[11] Though according to Big Lead Sports a source says that ESPN and Smith went to the negotiating table and couldn’t reach an agreement.[12] Apparently, ESPN’s offer was considerably lower than Smith’s previous contracts – which were multi-media faceted – and Smith passed. He was then offered the decision to work through the remainder of his contract, or walk away and still get paid, and a source says Smith decided to work. Since then, Smith has returned to ESPN.

It was announced April 30, 2012 on air that Smith would be joining First Take on a permanent, five-day per week basis under a new format for the show called "Embrace Debate" in which he squares off against longtime "First Take" commentator Skip Bayless.

On March 4, 2013, when asked to compare the Miami Heat's 14-game win streak to the Chicago Blackhawks' then-current point streak, Smith remarked, "I don't even know why this is a question. Of course it's the Miami Heat," further saying, "Excuse me, when it was 21 games it was really an eight-game streak. There are three ties. I'm sorry, that doesn't count. I'm not in to the tie business. This isn't soccer... I'm sorry, I'm not buying it." Controversy followed Smith's comments, especially since the National Hockey League had not employed a tie system since the end of the 2003–04 NHL season, abandoning it in favor of the shootout following the 2004–05 NHL lockout.

On July 25, 2014, Smith made controversial remarks that women may provoke domestic abuse on ESPN2's show ESPN First Take, in regards to the ongoing situation involving Baltimore Ravens' running back Ray Rice and his wife.[13] After criticism of the remarks, including comments on Twitter from ESPN reporter Michelle Beadle, Smith apologized for his words on a taped segment on ESPN. On July 29, 2014, Smith was suspended by ESPN for a week and will not appear on any of their programs until next Wednesday.[14]

Acting career

Smith made his acting debut in a cameo appearance as a television reporter on the February 2, 2007 episode on the ABC soap opera General Hospital. Later that year, he appeared in the Chris Rock motion picture I Think I Love My Wife.


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b Greenfield, Karl Taro (August 1, 2005), "Stephen A., As In . . .", Sports Illustrated 103 (4), archived from the original on September 15, 2013 
  2. Jump up ^ Twitter / stephenasmith: No sir, @achryssou. I said. (May 15, 2013). Retrieved on July 26, 2014.
  3. Jump up ^ LeBron James Picks Miami: Stephen A. Smith Was Right – Speakeasy – WSJ. (July 8, 2010). Retrieved on July 26, 2014.
  4. Jump up ^ Britell, Alexander (October 8, 2012). "For ESPN’s Stephen A Smith, Finding a Sanctuary in St Thomas". Caribbean Journal. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  5. Jump up ^ Mizell, Gina (June 18, 2012). "Interview with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith–the long version". The Oklahoman. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  6. Jump up ^ "Stephen X". Philadelphia Magazine. December 2004. Retrieved September 15, 2013. 
  7. Jump up ^ Richard Sandomir, ESPN's New Master of the Offensive Foul, The New York Times, July 31, 2005, Accessed January 22, 2009.
  8. Jump up ^ Stephen A. Smith in Inquirer After 2-Year Feud | The Maynard Institute. (February 8, 2010). Retrieved on December 22, 2011.
  9. Jump up ^ Stephen A. Smith is reportedly close to new deal to return to ESPN. NY Daily News (January 26, 2011) Retrieved February 10, 2012
  10. Jump up ^
  11. Jump up ^ Stephen A. Smith is leaving ESPN – (April 17, 2009). Retrieved on December 22, 2011.
  12. Jump up ^ Enjoy Stephen A. Smith While You Can – He’s Got About Six Three Weeks Left at ESPN. The Big Lead (April 16, 2009). Retrieved on December 22, 2011.
  13. Jump up ^
  14. Jump up ^ Mandell, Nina (29 July 2014). "Stephen A. Smith won't be on ESPN for a week after controversial comments". USA Today. Retrieved 29 July 2014. 

External links

Name Smith, Stephen A.
Alternative names Smith, Stephen Anthony
Short description Sports journalist
Date of birth October 14, 1967
Place of birth Bronx, New York, United States
Date of death  
Place of death