Skip Bayless Fires Back at Stephen A. Smith’s Comments About “First Take” Origins

Skip Bayless took to his podcast, The Skip Bayless Show, to address the origin story of First Take as laid out by Stephen A. Smith. Skip explained how First Take developed into the game-changing debate format that has made it successful even after Bayless’s departure. He also acknowledged that publicly challenging Stephen A.’s rendering of what happened could cause some “brotherly” tension between the two, but it’s something Skip welcomes considering the offense.

Stephen A. Smith sat down for an interview with The Old Man and the Three, where he spoke about his relationship with Skip Bayless.

Stephen explained how when he and Skip were working at FOX, they were offered a show that was pulled at the last moment. Stephen added that he and Skip always wondered what their show would’ve been like, which is why Stephen agreed when Skip told him that he needed him to host “First Take.”

After pointing out that they were the #1 show on the network a month after he joined Skip, Stephen spoke about the only time his friendship with Skip was tested. Stephen explained that he didn’t like when he was hearing about Skip leaving ESPN before Skip had told Stephen himself. Stephen then added that that only lasted a few hours, and the rest of his friendship with Skip has been unproblematic.

“The only time anything came close to that was when I knew he was leaving before he told me, and I was like, ‘What the hell’s going on?’ So, I confronted him. For better or worse, I’m a straight-up guy. If I work with you, and all of a sudden, I’m leaving; you ain’t gonna find out from somebody else. … When he confessed to me what had transpired between his negotiations with the company, I understood why he couldn’t tell me in the immediate moment. But that’s literally the only thing that we’ve ever had any kind of issue about, and that lasted for like six hours.”

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