Stephen A. Smith is one of the most honest and controversial sports commentators and ESPN hosts that modern television has to offer.
While some hosts may try to consider what others may think about their statements and hold back their criticisms, Smith is known for tearing into professional athletes and giving his completely honest opinion.
Sports fans may have mixed opinions of Smith, but his fans appreciate his deep understanding of the history of professional basketball and his passion for the sport.
What Is Stephen A. Smith’s Net Worth?
Stephen A. Smith has a net worth of $16 million and an annual salary of $8 million, most of which he has earned through his work as a sports writer and media figure.
Although Smith may prefer to keep his personal life private, his work as a sports commentator is constantly blowing up, for better or worse.
Stephen A. Smith was born on October 14th of 1967 in the Bronx, New York.
His father was a well-known baseball and basketball player, who was running his own hardware store by the time Smith was growing up.
Although his father may have had his own business and previous athletic career, Smith was the second-youngest of seven children, and money was spread finely across all of the family’s responsibilities.
Luckily, Smith had a natural gift for basketball and managed to earn himself a scholarship that allowed him to attend Winston-Salem State University.
While playing for Winston-Salem State University, Smith had the opportunity to train under legendary coach Clarence Gaines.
Under Gaines’s watchful eye, the future sports commentator was able to gain some unique and valuable insight into the different tactics used in basketball.
Although Smith learned a lot about basketball tactics under Gaines, he was never afraid to speak his mind.
Smith frequently wrote for his school’s newspaper and one of the final topics he covered during his senior year was whether or not Clarence Gaines should retire, citing his failing health as a reason the coach should hang up his hat.
To this day, Stephen A. Smith is known for telling viewers exactly what he thinks of those who play and coach in the National Basketball Association.
While not everyone may agree with what Smith has to say, he is constantly making headlines for his hard-hitting remarks.
Starting His Career As A Sports Journalist
Stephen A. Smith first started his work as a sports journalist while he was attending Winston-Salem State University, which offered him the perfect experience to build his career as a sports journalist.
After he graduated from the University in 1991, Smith was quickly snatched up by his local newspaper, The Winston-Salem Journal.
Smith served as a clerk in the newspaper’s sports department.
From this entry-level job, Smith would branch out to work for The Greensboro News and Record and then The New York Daily News.
The job that brought Smith into the public eye was his time at The Philadelphia Inquirer, where Smith’s job was solely focused on writing about the Philadelphia 76ers.
As his articles began bringing in more readers, his job broadened to include a variety of professional sports-based topics.
During his time with The Philadelphia Inquirer, Stephen A. Smith was given two promotions which eventually led to him becoming the general sports columnist.
However, The Philadelphia Inquirer saw an alarming decline in subscribers and had to let Smith go in 2008.
Smith took the newspaper organization to court, claiming that his firing was unjust and went against the collective bargaining agreement between the newspaper organization and the Philadelphia Newspaper Guild.
As retribution for the damage that The Philadelphia Inquirer did to Smith’s career, he wanted the newspaper to pay him $100,000 and to “publish and promote Stephen A. Smith’s columns.”
Smith’s lawyers wanted their client back in his position within 15 days, that he be allowed to publish his opinion freely, and that Smith would ensure that he would get to cover the type of topics he wanted to.
The newspaper was also expected to continue Smith’s salary of $225,000 and continue to maintain his dental and medical insurance.
Stephen A. Smith joined ESPN in 2003, starting his career with the sports media company as an analyst for the NBA Shootaround, which would later be renamed NBA Countdown.
Only two years later, Smith’s hard work would be rewarded with his own show called Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith.
Smith’s first show was canceled by 2007, but he was then given a daily show called The Stephen A. Smith Show.
This one-hour talk show included interviews with athletes, commentary on the issues arising in professional sports, and general sports news.
After becoming a hit among fans while appearing on First Take, viewers could spot Smith all across ESPN on shows such as Pardon the Interruption, Dream Job, Jim Rome Is Burning, and SportsCenter.
By 2014, ESPN was paying Smith an annual salary of $3 million.
Only a year later, the sports media company would give Smith an annual raise of an additional $2 million.
In 2019, First Take joined Stephen A. Smith at the Philadelphia 76ers’ Fieldhouse for a show that was part of Historically Black Colleges and University Week.
Since Smith graduated from Winston-Salem State University, which is a historically black university, he was named the ambassador of the event by the city of Wilmington, Delaware.
That same year, Smith would sign a new contract that would pay him between $8 million and $10 million.
This has helped Smith become one of the highest-paid personalities in the history of a massive sports media company.
Smith’s most recent show is Stephen A’s World, which first appeared on ESPN’s streaming service in January of 2021.
Smith, who will be serving as the show’s executive producer and host, talks about the sports stories that the headlines aren’t covering or gives his unique opinion on well-discussed topics.
Taking His Career To The Radio
Only two years after joining ESPN, Stephen A. Smith had made the transition from a journalist to a talk show host.
The first radio show that Smith hosted was WEPN radio from New York City in 2005, which eventually got broken into two parts, where the second half of the show would appear on ESPN radio.
In 2009, Smith began contributing to Fox Sports Radio and eventually landed the role of head host for their morning show.
Smith quickly became a popular personality for the major sports media companies to fight over.
By 2013, Smith was given a better offer than ESPN was giving him and decided to leave ESPN to join as a host for Chris Russo’s Mad Dog Sports Channel on Sirius/XM.
By September of 2014, Smith began hosting The Stephen A. Smith Show.
Eventually, ESPN was able to fight Mad Dog to get Smith back in 2017.
He brought The Stephen A. Smith Show over ESPN’s Sirius/XM channel, which meant that it was also available on ESPN’s New York radio channel 98.7FM and their Los Angeles channel 710AM.
By January of 2018, his daily talk show was then added to the national ESPN Radio network and was made available across the country.
Later that year, the talk show was added to the ESPNEWS weekday ESPN Radio simulcast lineup.
The daily talk show eventually ended in January of 2020.
During his time on ESPN radio, Smith was earning $1 million per year for The Stephen A. Smith Show.
Part of Smith’s newest contract with ESPN had included a plan to discontinue his show from the beginning.
They wanted to ensure that Smith would have the time to devote to other projects and give him more time on Sportscenter.
Testing The Waters Of The Acting World
Stephen A. Smith may not be known for his acting, but he has tried his hand at the trade a few times over the years.
Although none of the movies he has appeared in have been critically acclaimed, Smith’s acting career has included a diverse line of roles in both film and television.
The first role that Smith ever took on was Allen in Chris Rock’s I Think I Love My Wife in 2007.
The story follows Richard Cooper, a married man who has gotten tired of his marriage and considered cheating on his wife with an old friend of his.
Smith wouldn’t return to the silver screen until he made a cameo appearance in the family holiday comedy Almost Christmas, which starred Kimberly Elise, Danny Glover, Mo’Nique, and DC Young Fly.
The story follows the Meyer family, all of whom are coming home for the holiday for the first time since their mother died.
Traditional family chaos ensues and the family members just hope to make it out of the holiday season alive.
In 2021, Stephen A. Smith took on his first voice acting role as Marc Remy from Paramount+’s original children’s film Rumble.
The film takes place in a world where monster wrestling is popular, a global sport, and humans work with the monsters to help train them.
Smith’s role is the father of the main character, Winnie, who is trying to continue her father’s tradition of training underdog monsters.
Although Winnie’s monster Steve may not seem like a likely hero at first, their bond allows them both to accomplish their dreams.
Most of Smith’s recent acting work has occurred on television shows like Black-ish and General Hospital.
In 2007, Smith was given the role of Brick on General Hospital after Maurice Bernard appeared on Smith’s show.
Are Molly Qerim And Stephen A. Smith Dating?
No, Molly Qerim and Stephen A. Smith have never dated.
Some people have speculated that Molly Qerim’s divorce from Jalen Rose was because of an alleged extramarital relationship between Qerim and Smith.
Jalen Rose had to speak on the subject to clear the names of both Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim.
Rose felt that it was “laughable” how he and Qerim could peacefully get divorced and remain on good terms, yet the public will always assume the worst.
Qerim’s ex-husband felt pressured to speak on the matter because it “bothered” him that someone would believe that Molly Qerim was a cheater and that Smith, who was his friend, was now sleeping with his ex-wife.
Rose had too much love and respect for the both of them to continue to allow people to drag their names through the mud.
Despite their recent divorce, Molly Qerim and Jalen Rose are still friends.
They found that while they made excellent friends, their relationship was not built for marriage.
Rather than try to press what simply wasn’t working, they decided to cut ties as a married couple and chose to go back to just being friends.
Smith and Rose are as close as brothers in Rose’s eyes, and he has no intention of changing that over false rumors.
Before the outrageous rumor began to break out, Rose and Qerim had no plans to publicly discuss their divorce.
Although they split up peacefully, the ex-couple experienced some heavy emotions that made each of them want to talk about anything else.
Qerim and Rose publicly announced their relationship in June of 2016 and were married in July 2018 in a small ceremony in New York City.
By April of 2021, Rose had filed for divorce from the co-host of First Take.
Stephen A. Smith’s Experience With COVID-19
Stephen A. Smith’s career was recently put on hold in January of 2022 when he contracted COVID-19.
The damage caused by the virus is still affecting Smith as he recovers from all the damage that it has done.
At 54 years old, Smith was hit with a severe case of COVID-19 that landed the popular sports commentator in the hospital and nearly killed him.
Smith was hospitalized on January 1st with a 103-degree fever and pneumonia that had formed in both of his lungs.
According to Smith’s doctors, his case was so serious that not having the vaccination could have killed him.
Luckily, Smith had gotten his vaccination in March of 2021 and even posted about his vaccination on Twitter.
Before Smith contracted the virus, his fellow First Take hosts Molly Qerim and Max Kellerman both had COVID-19 and recovered.
From their experiences with the virus, Smith figured that he would be dealing with a lot of coughing, a small fever, and a nasty headache.
Instead, Smith experienced profuse coughing, nightly fevers, waking up in a puddle of sweat every morning, and one of the worst headaches of his life.
He has also experienced long-term lung damage and serious damage to his liver as well.
Smith is still on the road to recovery since his lung functionality hasn’t come back fully yet.
He has to carefully monitor his gym activity and take things much more slowly than he’s used to.
Smith is grateful, however, to have a team of doctors who are helping him get back to the way he was before.
Stephen A. Smith’s advice to all those who are worried about how COVID-19 will affect them is to remember that it affects everyone differently, to get their vaccination, and wear a mask when out in public.
Stephen A. Smith’s Controversial Thoughts On Domestic Assault
Stephen A. Smith may be known for always giving out his honest opinion on topics, but that doesn’t mean that his opinions are always right.
Throughout his career, Smith has made many comments that go beyond giving an honest opinion and stray deeply into controversial territory.
In 2014, Smith was suspended by ESPN after he pointed to victims of domestic abuse being the reason they endure the hardships that they do.
In reference to the story of Ray Rice knocking his wife unconscious in an elevator, Smith’s recommendation to women was to not “provoke” the abusers in their lives.
After receiving intense backlash for his comments, Smith called his comments “the most egregious error of my career” and claimed that his words weren’t meant to come off as victim blaming.
However, this wasn’t the first time that Smith had made these types of comments.
While discussing Floyd Mayweather’s domestic battery history, Smith refused to believe that Mayweather had actually beaten his wife to a concussion and instead believed it was a fabricated lie from Josie Harris.
Mayweather had a recorded history of domestic assault arrests against him, yet Smith still believed that Harris was just a gold digger looking to chip away at the boxer’s wealth.
Stephen A. Smith once told Ayesha Curry how to be a “proper” professional athlete’s wife.
Problems arose when Ayesha Curry took to Twitter to claim that games were being rigged for either money or views in the National Basketball Association.
Smith replied to Curry’s comments by telling her to be more like Gloria James because “She’s wonderful inside and out.
She sits there, she doesn’t bring any attention to herself.”
These types of comments earned Smith his first ejection in 2016.
Times Stephen A. Smith’s Comments Have Backfired
Stephen A. Smith’s controversial comments don’t just consist of what he has said about topics like domestic violence.
There have been a few times when his comments about different professional athletes have led him to get in trouble with ESPN and the public.
In 2017, Smith was a guest speaker at Black Enterprise Black Men XCEL Summit.
While at the summit, he told people like Colin Kaepernick to “stay the h*** away from me.”
While Smith is a supporter of the Take a Knee movement, he was angered by Kaepernick’s decision to publicly announce that he wasn’t going to vote in the 2016 election.
Smith felt that Kaepernick’s choice not to vote was ignorant since he believed that the only two ways to change the nation were by voting and investing money in the changes you want to see in the world.
The sports commentator also felt that Kaepernick’s choice not to vote was disrespectful to himself, their ancestors, and their history.
In 2021, Stephen A. Smith made some offensive comments toward the Los Angeles Angels’ new star player Shohei Ohtani.
Smith was not happy about the Los Angeles Angels’ best player needing a translator for the audience to understand.
Ohtani is Japanese and has an interpreter who translates press questions and his answers.
Smith felt that if a player was going to be in the American professional leagues, they needed to speak English.
It didn’t take Smith long to realize he had messed up, and within 24 hours, he was making apology videos and even writing out an additional apology for his comments.
Since the segment was teased, the team behind First Take was also given plenty of social heat for using such a segment as a way to convince people to watch the show.