Stephen Anthony Smith (aka Screamin’ A. Smith) is famously known as a sports commentator on ESPN’s First Take, where he appears with Max Kellerman & Molly Qerim. On January 17, 2023, Smith will debut his memoir Straight Shooter.
Smith is well-known for his bombastic, fierce, critical & over-the-top praises to the players and the coach.
Besides being a sports commentator, he is also an actor, radio host, and journalist who has already spent more than two decades in media. Smith is an NBA analyst for ESPN on NBA Countdown.
He is mostly known for his outspoken views of the world of sports. The New York Times’s Richard Sandomir called smith ‘A fierce, confident and bombastic personality.’
He made a controversial statement in January 2023. He said, “Black coaches should not apply for Texans jobs.”
Smith has the quality to reach out to the audience and viewers, even to those who dislike him and disagree with his opinions.
He is quoted as a controversial commentator in sports. An executive vice president at sports network ESPN said that it is tough to find a talented person like Smith.
Let’s go through the journey of Stephen A. Smith, from being a basketball player in college to being a controversial sports commentator. First, let’s look at the quick facts table below;
|Stephen Anthony Smith
|October 14, 1967
|The Bronx, New York, USA
|Screamin’ A. Smith
|Mixed (African and American)
|Winston-Salem State University
|Four sisters and one brother
|56 years old
|6’1″/1.85 m/185 cm
|70 kg/154 lb.
|Two daughters, Samantha and Nyla
|Sports Journalist, Radio Host, Actor
Early Life, Parents, & Horoscope
Stephen A. Smith was born in The Bronx, New York, on October 14, a very diverse neighborhood. He was born to his mother, Janet Smith, and details about his father are unknown.
Smith’s parents came from the Virgin Islands, and the rumor is that his father was a baseball star in the 1950s.
The television personality spent his childhood in Queens with his other five siblings; four sisters and one brother. Smith’s maternal grandmother is white, and the rest of the others are of black descent.
In 1992, he lost his only brother, Basil, in a fatal car accident. He also has a half-brother from his father’s side, whose name is unknown.
Smith attended Thomas Edison High School in Queens and graduated from there. After graduating high school, Smith enrolled in the Fashion Institute of Technology for one year.
Eventually, after one year, he received a basketball scholarship to attend Winston-Salem State University, also called a black university.
Stephen’s horoscope chart shows he is a Libra. People with this sun sign are known for maintaining a charming, beautiful, and well-balanced life.
In this case, it seems to contradict Smith’s characteristics because he is critical, which misbalances his relationship with other people.
Early Career In Print Media
During Smith’s time at Winston-Salem State University, he played basketball for the college team, managed by the Hall of Fame coach Clarence Gaines.
He also wrote a column for the university newspaper, The News Argus. He was very vocal from an early age and even argued why his coach should retire.
Smith eventually engaged with other newspapers such as the Winston-Salem Journal, the Greensboro News and Record, and the New York Daily News.
In 1994, Smith was hired as a writer by The Philadelphia Inquirer and then began reporting for National Basketball Association for the sports column. Smith ended his tenure with Inquirer in 2008 after being demoted.
Stephen started his radio career in 2005 and hosted a weekend show on WEPN in New York City alongside Brandon Tierney.
WEPN is an all-sports ESPN New York FM. He gradually grew his radio career, which helped him expand to television. Finally, in 2009 he got linked with Fox Sports Radio.
Stephen was working on a different radio show, a television show that diverted his time, leading to his Inquirer’s demotion. After resigning from the newspaper, he started to write blogs.
Unfortunately, the relationship between the newspaper and Smith got uglier, leading them to litigation.
Smith had an on-and-off relationship with ESPN; he left ESPN’s contract in 2007 for Fox Sports Radio and again joined ESPN in 2011 as a columnist and a host for the ESPN radio program.
In 2013, he left ESPN for Sirius XM Radio and made controversial comments against ESPN2. On January 17, 2017, he again moved back to ESPN.
Smith’s television career started in 1999 through CNN/SI. In 2005, Smith hosted his show on ESPN called Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith, where he was known for his unbiased and deliberate comments.
In 2007, he appeared as an NBA analyst, concentrating mainly on basketball after his show got canceled.
Moreover, he appeared on other ESPN shows such as Dream Job reality show and also as a guest on Pardon the Interruption and Jim Rome Is Burning.
He used to present the Sunday Morning Show of Sports Center. Later on, there was a rumor that ESPN & Smith couldn’t come to a common ground, and he left ESPN.
In 2012, Smith was back on ESPN with a bang and announced his five days per week show, “Embrace Debate,” permanently replacing commentator Skip Bayless. Smith is currently working as one of the hosts of First Take on ESPN alongside Max Kellerman.
Stephen A. Smith’s Opinions
Furthermore, if there is one thing we know about Stephen is that he always speaks his mind. For example, he spoke on Ben Simmons‘ matter when the player said he was not ready to play.
While rationally explaining, he said that Simmons might be afraid to face Philly. Moreover, he called Devin Booker the next Kobe Bryant, which caused a lot of outrage among fans, but the sports journalist refused to take his words back.
Smith also expressed how he wanted Gregg Popovich to be the head coach of the Brooklyn Nets and how the Dallas Cowboys should not be featured in the NFL Films-produced movie Hard Knocks.
Career In Filmography
It might amaze most of you to know that Smith has also tried his luck in acting and producing a movie. He made his acting debut on soap opera called General Hospital as a cameo, and in 2016 he appeared as the character Brick in the following show.
Smith also produced and appeared in a motion picture called I Think I Love My Wife as an ‘Allan.’ Besides that, he also has done a few commercials.
Smith is 56 years old and seems to have maintained a fit body so that he can be presentable while he appears on TV.
Standing 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 meters) tall, he weighs 70 kg (154 pounds). He is a big guy with black hair and black eyes.
Who Is Stephen A. Smith Dating?
Stephen is not married yet, but there was a rumor that the sports radio host was once engaged.
While making comments and critical analyses on players, he never seems to be out of the word, but when GQ Magazine asked him about his personal life & the reason for his breakup, he appeared to be tight-lipped.
However, Smith has two daughters, who were born one year apart from each other. He is very paranoid about being in love and loving others. He made this statement to GQ Magazine because he believes they will eventually give him pain.
Stephen also said that his daughters were like a hope for him, a cure to his soul when he lost his mother, Janet, in 2017.
There are also widespread rumors that Smith has a son whose mother’s whereabouts are unknown, and it still remains a mystery whether it is true or not.
There are various ongoing rumors about Stephen’s personal life, but there is no supporting evidence or confirmation from his side.
Stephen has worked for very reputable media & channels. He owns a luxurious property in New York worth $1 million. He bought that house in 2001 and currently resides there.
According to the New York Times, his net worth is about $20 million, making him one of the wealthiest media personalities & highest-paid ESPN sports journalists.
As of 2024, Stephen reportedly earns $12 million every year, which includes $8 million in annual salary and $4 million-per-year production.
Due to his fearless and controversial comments and critical analysis, he has acquired an equal number of haters, which benefitted him as they contributed to the hike in the TRP of the channel.
He also makes some money through his acting career as an actor and producer.
A Controversial King?
- Besides Smith’s frankness, he sometimes gets stuck in the most significant controversies. Once, he passed comments on-air about domestic violence, stating that females or their physical appearance is responsible for domestic violence. He got suspended for a week after massive criticism.
- In 2015, during the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Norway scored a free-kick against Germany, and players turned their heads as the ball went by. He said, “Maybe they don’t want to mess up their hair.” This comment led to criticism of him as being sexist, and later, he posted an apology on Twitter.
- Smith’s former co-host Skip Bayless on ESPN and smith are not on good terms; Smith likes to call it an “Unorthodox Friendship.”
- John Oliver described Smith as loud, wrong, who takes pointlessly dramatic pauses. He made this statement after Smith expressed his opinions about Daryl Morey’s tweet.
Social Media Presence
Smith seems to be very active on social media. He has many followers on Instagram (@stephenasmith) & Twitter (stephenasmith).
Smith uses these social media platforms to provide information to the fans about NBA sporting activities.
Smith is very famous on Twitter for passing controversial statements or comments. He unbiasedly gives critical comments on the players for which he is often criticized.
Being a hyped-up person, he surely knows to draw the attention of sports enthusiasts, which includes his haters.
Twitter: 5.8m followers
Instagram: 4.1m followers
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Stephen is infamous for the critical and controversial statements he makes during his commentary. He is also popular for dissing Cowboys Dallas players and their gameplays.
The above graph gives information about the popularity of American sports journalist in the United States based on Google searches over a year.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Is Stephen A. Smith a Cowboys fan?
No, Smith has hated Dallas Cowboys for several years and has spent a bunch of his time on ESPN making fun of the Cowboys and their fans. Whenever the Cowboys dis something foolish or lose a game, Smith often celebrates their losses on TV or social media.
What did Joe Rogan say about Stephen A. Smith?
Rogan said, “I think the problem is Stephen A. Smith, who’s a very entertaining guy and is very knowledgeable about other sports; this is not his wheelhouse.
That style of dismissing athletes and putting people down — that’s how he made his name, and it’s fun to listen to. He’s a fun guy to listen to.”
What did Stephen A. Smith say about Kwame Brown?
He said, “I don’t have a single negative thing to say about Kwame Brown, the person. Nothing personal. The only negative thing anybody said about Kwame Brown is that he couldn’t play a lick of basketball.”
Has Stephen A. Smith hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live?
Yes, the TV personality was a guest host on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
What did Stephen A. Smith say about Paul George?
He said, “Paul George and Ty Lue need to stop lying to the American public. Of course, there is a reason for concern; they got spanked by the Dallas Mavericks in two games.”
Are Stephen A. Smith and Michael Wilbon colleagues?
Yes, both of them work for ESPN and are colleagues. Their hilarious reaction during the Suns’ game went viral.
Where does Stephen A. Smith live?
Smith currently lives in North Jersey.
What did Stephen A Smith say about Donald Cerrone?
The sports journalist said, “I respect the hell out of @Cowboycerrone, but he just wasn’t there that night.” He received a lot of hate and criticism for his comments but later on, Donald admitted that he “didn’t turn up.”