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It’s Never Personal With Stephen A. Smith—Until Now
Before Stephen Anthony Smith became Stephen A.—the loud, emphatic, brutally honest host of ESPN’s First Take—he was a scrawny Black kid from Hollis, Queens, with dreams of a pro-basketball career. Those dreams were quickly derailed when he busted his kneecap during his first year on the Division II team at Winston-Salem State, but it paved the way for a new dream: to land a job at the worldwide leader in sports and become one of the most prominent figures in sports media; to become a guy who’s listened to, not just heard. He climbed his way up the ladder reporting at the Philadelphia Inquirer, made it to ESPN and ventured into sports talk radio, secured his own TV show, got fired from the network, returned, landed First Take, started a production company, launched a podcast. However, the one thing he hasn’t done, up until now, is become an author. And to become an author, he needed to write about his own story first and how, against the odds, he got here.
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