Friday, April 17

In Defense of Stephen A. Smith

TBL reported yesterday that Stephen A. Smith's contract will be up shortly at ESPN. Today, Stephen A.'s official website confirms that he will no longer be at ESPN after May 1st. Smith has become yesterday's news, but at his peak he was one of the most visible and lampooned media members on the internet. His 'in your face' style and the annual heckling at the NBA draft made him an easy target for everyone, including ESPN's own Scott Van Pelt.

Many people may celebrate the departure of Smith from the WWL, but much of cheering is a result of his overexposure in such a short period of time. When he made the transition from "just another writer" to his over the top antics, he was primarily covering the NBA. To this day, listening to Smith discuss the L remains enjoyable, because you can hear the passion in his voice. With other sports, it was always a tad forced and not backed up by years of rabid following. Had he remained solely an NBA analyst, Smith could have excelled at the Leader. Whatever the reason, ESPN's decision to make him their first all medium all-star was a mistake. Never fully appreciated for what he was saying because of how he was saying it, here's to wishing Stephen A. good luck on his next venture, hopefully it will be NBA-centric, because few people in today's mainstream media have the same passion and knowledge as Mr. Smith.

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