Is beef slowly simmering between former First Take brothers Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith? It sure does seem that way following a recent episode of the Skip Bayless Podcast.
Skip Bayless Is Feels Betrayed By His Brother
Instead of, you know, reaching out to his so-called brother, Skip Bayless decided to address Stephen A. Smith on his podcast about a story the current face of ESPN told during an appearance on JJ Redick and Tommy Alter’s The Old Man and the Three podcast.
A visibly hurt Bayless (we think he was being dramatic) re-read a story Smith told his current ESPN brethren Redick and Alter about Bayless basically begging him to join him on First Take. As Smith tells it, it was him joining the show that saved it and made it the juggernaut it is today.
“Skip Bayless was doing his thing with First Take, having the 2 Live Stews [Ryan and Doug Stewart], Jemele Hill, Rob Parker, and various other people debating against him,” Smith said. “And then in 2012, they weren’t satisfied with the numbers — the ratings and the amount of revenue that was being generated.
Bayless working hard for an Academy Award screams out “WHAT?!” after he finishes reading Smith’s comments before accusing his former First Take cohost of GRADE A CAP.
“I cannot tell you how wrong that was. It was so recklessly inaccurate. It was such shocking fabrication,” a frustrated Bayless said on his Fox Sports podcast.
The Hurt Didn’t Stop There.
Skip Bayless also reacted to Smith, claiming he begged him to be on the show because it was a pure struggle without him.
“Skip Bayless comes to me in the parking lot of ESPN’s campus in Bristol, Connecticut,” Smith added. “And he says, ‘I know you’ve got your plans. You love the NBA. You love being out on the road. You love being in the locker room. But I need you. I’ve done all that I could to take this as far as it can go. I need you, please. Just give me three years. I think we’ll knock it out of the park.”
Bayless, clearly distraught at Smith wanting the credit for First Take’s success, fired back at those claims.
“I thought, ‘how could my brother Stephen A. turn on me like that?’ On me? Seriously?” Bayless said with a sigh of disappointment. “Stephen A. was suggesting that he saved and then made First Take. How can you save and make a show that was already as big a billion-to-one success story as ESPN had ever seen? The ratings and the revenues were impossibly great when Stephen A. joined me in 2012.”
Stephen A. Smith has seemingly responded to Bayless by sharing the clip with more context and it kinda makes Skip look silly. In it, Smith explains to Redick that he was on the verge of starting a debate show on Fox Sports, Bayless’ current home, but it fell through at the last hour.
While we don’t expect the two to agree on this story because they never agree on anything, let’s be real here: Bayless’s success has always hinged on a Black cohost.
Photo: Laura Cavanaugh / Getty
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