Stephen A. Smith has been slowly losing responsibility over the last year at ESPN, and many have questioned whether his time with the “Leader” was up. Well according to The Big Lead, that time is upon us, and Smith’s contract won’t be renewed this May….
We hear that Stephen A. Smith, who just four years ago soared to incredible sports media heights – simultaneously juggling a sports column in the Philadelphia Inquirer, an ESPN radio show, and a TV show on ESPN – will be actively looking for work this summer after his ESPN contract expires following the NBA playoffs.
Within the last month, a source says that ESPN and Smith went to the negotiating table and couldn’t reach an agreement. 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.
While this is obviously still a rumor, it seems to make sense. SAS has been phased out of NBA work for the most part, and really only appears on First Take from time to time. So where does he go next? My first thought is that he will expand on his CNN appearances, but SI and Fanhouse are still out there. It’s not like he doesn’t have options.