After being fired by co-workers, Stephen A. Smith’s response


“First Take” anchor Stephen A. Smith said the ESPN associates who were fired “deserved better.”

Smith continued, “Just a few days ago, ESPN laid off approximately 20 members of its on-air talent.” “The Stephen A. Smith Show” on Monday. “My friends, of course, certainly respect colleagues who have done a phenomenal job and they deserved better. But it’s not Disney or ESPN that deserved better, they deserved better than that.” in which we are living.”

Jeff Van Gundy, Suzy Kolber, Keyshawn Johnson, Jalen Rose and Max Kellerman were among the on-air talent let go by ESPN in the latest round of layoffs last week as part of parent company Disney’s cost-cutting measures . Smith said this isn’t the end of the layoffs, adding “there are more to come.”

“Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I can be next,” said Smith. “Now my eyes are wide open. I’m never comfortable. I never take anything for granted and I never believe I’m safe.”

what do we know: ESPN layoffs include Jeff Van Gundy, Suzy Kolber

Smith took a moment and gave a shout-out to several of his teammates, including Rose, a “brilliant basketball mind” who appeared on “NBA Countdown” with Smith, and Van Gundy, ESPN’s top NBA color analyst, whom Smith Called a “Hall of Fame analyst and commentator”. ,

Smith said of Van Gundy, “Jeff was an outstanding, brilliant basketball analyst for ESPN for years. I can say I will miss him but I can’t imagine he will be out of work for much longer.” The network’s “A Team” with play-by-play announcer Mike Breen and fellow analyst Mark Jackson.

Smith even said he would miss his former “First Take” co-host “Max Kellerman” from 2016 to 2021.

“I’m not happy that he’s gone. We all know what our history was. We all know what happened when he and I broke up on ‘First Take’. I do not want brother to be unemployed. I want him to get gainfully employed. I want him to have a job and a career,” Smith said. “And that brother knows his boxing inside and out, is smart as a whip, and has been around a long time. I wish to bear no ill will towards him. And, the fact is, although I really doubt he’ll ever do it, if he ever calls me in need of help, I won’t hesitate to help him.

Despite the layoffs, Smith said that people “shouldn’t blame Disney or ESPN,” but rather the economy and inflation. He added, “The timing is bad right now and that’s why you are seeing things coming back.”

Contributing: Chris Bumbaka

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