Dan Le Batard and Stephen A. Smith are no strangers to lobbing attacks at one another and they’ve both seemingly agreed to continue doing so. But apparently, when Le Batard invokes former debate partner Skip Bayless, that’s where Smith draws the line.
Last Wednesday, Le Batard launched into his latest screed against the icons of embracing debate by saying that he believes Smith’s goal is to run Bayless off television.
“I want to talk about the war at the top of this industry between Skip Bayless and his protégé,” Le Batard said. “Stephen A. Smith wants to end Skip Bayless’ career.”
Along with leaving Bayless in the dust ratings-wise, Smith recently took in Shannon Sharpe, Bayless’s former Undisputed co-host, which many took as a sign that the First Take host wanted to really send a message to Bayless (and has).
On Monday, Smith refuted the notion that he wants to end Bayless’s career in the strongest terms possible. Though to be fair, that’s how he talks about most things.
“You know, I try not to engage in some of this stuff because you see and certainly I’m not necessarily talking about Dan Le Batard with this but, I tried to avoid it because you can see as clear as day that some people saying some asinine b******* just to get a reaction,” said Smith in response to the segment. “I have never been, I am not, nor will I ever be at war with Skip Bayless. That will not happen. Trying to be number one is an entirely different agenda than trying to end somebody’s career.
“I hope and pray that Skip Bayless is on TV doing what he loves to do in talking sports for as long as he wants to do it. Do I want to beat him? Yes! I want to beat anybody I’m going up against. That includes you, Dan! I’m doing a podcast, numbers are climbing, etc., etc. It’s really nice. I want to make a good living doing it. I want to be successful doing it. True! But you know what my success is? You know what I define as success? Being more successful than people who do what I do. If I’m less successful than them I’m not winning. And if I’m not winning that’s not success.
“I’m not built that way. I don’t wanna be up here and nobody wins. I want a lot of people to win. Practically everybody to win. I just wanna be on top. Because that’s what competition is.”
We’re sure that Smith saying that other people say “asinine b******* just to get a reaction” won’t be used against him at some point very soon.
Also, we have to wonder, when Smith says that he wants “practically” everybody to win, did Max Kellerman not make the cut?