Just a few days ago, the sports media world learned that Max Kellerman will no longer play a part in “First Take.”
His wildly successful – and sometimes controversial – show with Stephen A. Smith will now only feature one man: Stephen A. Smith. While Smith and Kellerman have been cordial toward one another, they ultimately didn’t make the best team.
It seemed like ESPN made the decision to pull Kellerman off the show to give him a chance somewhere else. However, a new report suggests Stephen A. Smith may have been the motivating factor for the move.
According to media insider Andrew Marchand, it was Stephen A. who wanted Max off the show – but not for personal reasons. ESPN allegedly obliged with its $12 million man.
NEW COLUMN: Stephen A. wanted Max Kellerman off First Take so it happened.https://t.co/TOljYvzgWT
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) August 24, 2021
Here’s what Marchand had to say in his piece about Kellerman’s exit from the show – thanks to Stephen A.
“Since he has become a giant in the industry, his moves reverberate. Smith has wanted Kellerman off ‘First Take’ for years,” Marchand wrote. “Though it wasn’t personal, according to sources, Kellerman has a ‘smartest guy in the room’ attitude, and Smith wanted more of a debating challenger. And ultimately, he wanted it to be him versus the world.”
While Kellerman won’t be doing “First Take” any longer, he isn’t done at ESPN. He’s replacing Zubin Mehenti and partnering with Keyshawn Johnson and Jay Williams.