Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless

Everyone believes Skip Bayless is a contrarian, except for Skip Bayless, which only further cements his status as a contrarian.

Last year, during an episode of The Skip Bayless Show, the Fox Sports host firmly stated that he despises the term “contrarian,” especially when someone uses it as an adjective to describe him. This week, however, in what could be perceived by Bayless as a mild act of betrayal, Stephen A. Smith joined the rest of the world in labeling his former debate partner a “contrarian.”

Smith was on The Mike Missanelli Podcast this week when the former Philadelphia sports radio host asked him about working with Bayless. “Something comes out every week where I go, he’s not real,” Missanelli said of Bayless.

“He’s different, man. He’s definitely different,” Smith admitted to Missanelli. “What I will tell you is this, Skip is a genuine, authentic, professional contrarian. He firmly believes in thinking that he thinks differently than anyone else on the planet. He is diametrically opposed to flowing with conventional wisdom.

“He believes that he sees what no one either sees or don’t have the courage to verbalize like he does. That’s how he thinks. And for people who think he makes stuff up – not at all – he believes it.”

There might not be a person on the planet who would argue with Smith that Bayless is a “professional contrarian,” except for Bayless himself. Even though Bayless despises when people call him a “contrarian,” he might give his former debate partner a pass since Smith affirmed the seemingly wild claim that Skip believes everything he says.

As much as Smith says he’s “happier without” Bayless at this point in his career, Stephen A. Smith talks about Skip Bayless a lot more than Skip Bayless talks about Stephen A. Smith. Granted, Smith doesn’t seem to pass up too many interview requests, while Bayless is more of a recluse. But nearly seven years after they parted ways, Smith still has a lot of takes about his former co-host on First Take.

[The Mike Missanelli Podcast]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to