ESPN put out a press release today announcing the return of Stephen A. Smith to ESPN as a local(Los Angeles and New York) radio host and ESPN.Com columnist. Here’s a couple of excerpts from their statement:
Stephen A. Smith is returning to ESPN as a local radio host and ESPN.com columnist. Smith will host a pair of two-hour, weekday local radio shows – one airing on 1050 ESPN (WEPN-AM) in New York from 7-9 p.m. ET and another on 710 ESPN (KSPN-AM) in Los Angeles from 6-8 p.m. PT. Both shows will focus on local sports topics, with a concentration on the NBA on game nights (1050 ESPN is the flagship station for the Knicks and 710 ESPN for the Lakers). Smith will begin to contribute to both stations this week. Smith will also cover NBA All-Star events and The Finals on ESPN Radio. Additionally, Smith will be a featured ESPN.com columnist, writing regularly for ESPNLA.com and ESPNNY.com.
Smith made a variety of contributions to ESPN from 2003-08. Smith hosted The Stephen A. Smith Show on ESPN Radio from 2005-08. He was also the host of ESPN2’s Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith, a one-hour show featuring sports news, commentary on sports issues, and interviews, from 2005-07. Smith joined ESPN in 2003 as an analyst for the network’s NBA Shootaround (since renamed NBA Countdown) pregame show. He also regularly appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, ESPN2’s First Take and as guest host of Pardon the Interruption and Jim Rome is Burning.
There is no mention of Smith returning to television for ESPN, but I’d imagine there’s a good possibility of that happening again in the future. Smith’s recent jobs included hosting a radio show for Fox Sports, and being a columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, a position he held from 1994-2010.
QUITE FRANKLY, I AM NOT TOO THRILLED ABOUT THIS NEWS. Smith certainly has his fans, but I’ve always found him loud(well, everybody’s found him loud at least) and obnoxious.
Putting his personality traits aside, I’ve never been very impressed with his analysis. He’s your classic “tells it like it is” guy, but from what I’ve gathered, can really only do that with the big names in two leagues: the NBA and NFL.
He’ll give you the “I AM TELLING YOU, CARMELO ANTHONY WILL BE A NEW YORK KNICK”, or “THE GREEN BAY PACKERS HAVE A HOT QUARTERBACK IN AARON RODGERS SO THERE IS NO DOUBT THEY ARE GOING TO WIN THE SUPER BOWL” type of comments, but usually offers little additional insight that you’d like to hear from a sports analyst.
I fully understand why people like him, as he’s very straightforward and can be entertaining at times, but I’ve just never been a fan, and I don’t like being SCREAMED at while I’m trying to relax and watch television.
The good news for me, is that he won’t be on television for ESPN at the time being, and I can easily avoid the radio and writing contributions he’ll be doing for them.