SOURCE SPORTS: Stephen A. Smith Reportedly Wants Magic Johnson As New Co-Host

Stephen A Smith holds a ton of weight over at ESPN. With Max Kellerman on the way out at First Take, Smith might have found his replacement for the show already.

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According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Smith wants to team up with Magic Johnson on TV, possibly as part of NBA Countdown. Smith’s ideal setup would involve him, Johnson, and longtime Pardon the Interruption co-host Michael Wilbon, who works with Smith frequently on SportsCenter.

It’s not clear if ESPN would be willing to put Smith and his selected co-hosts on NBA Countdown. In the past, the network has resisted making him a centerpiece of its NBA pregame show, feeling his opinionated style is not a good fit for the program. However, there is some belief that the pre-existing camaraderie of Smith, Johnson, and Wilbon would come through on the air.


No official word as to what exactly ESPN will have planned for First Take going forward. Regardless of the outcome, Smith will have a say in the process of finding a new co-host.