Stephen A. Smith confirmed that he wanted Shannon Sharpe.
On Friday, the ESPN “First Take” host addressed rumors of a move with Sharpe, who dumped Skip Bayless on FS1’s “Undisputed” in June after Smith teased his Twitter followers about the upcoming news.
“Look for me on Friday, guys! I will focus on all the things that I need to focus on,” he tweeted.
“I’m not going to tell you it’s true, but I’m also not going to tell you it’s not true.” Smith said a clever thing on his YouTube channel about joining Sharp’s show.
“Yes, the conversation is serious. I want this brother to be on ‘First Take’… I want the light to shine brighter on him than it did when we last saw him,” she added.
“I’m not doubting him and especially not my man, Skip Bayless.”
The feelings appear to be mutual, as the Hall of Fame tight end told USA Today that it would be “great” to collaborate with Smith, hinting at a career announcement in the coming days.
It would be a big step forward for the 55-year-old Sharp coming from the FS1 show, which averaged 154,000 viewers.
A possible move to “First Take” would enable him to continue producing his podcast “Club She She”, which has 1.23 million subscribers on YouTube.
The role will likely be that of a part-time contributor, as Smith prefers to have a rotating panel of co-hosts rather than a permanent partner.
“I want Shannon Sharpe in ‘First Take’ and my goal is to have her…I’m hopeful. I’m very hopeful and very confident that eventually, sooner or later we will announce that she will be in ‘First Take,'” Smith said.
Relations between Sharp and Bayless began to deteriorate, especially after Bills safety Damer Hamlin collapsed on the field against the Bengals the previous season.
Bayless was criticized for a tweet after the game was over but before the game was cancelled, saying, “No doubt the NFL is considering postponing the rest of this game – but how? At the end of the season, a game of this magnitude is crucial to the outcome of the regular season… which suddenly seems so irrelevant.’
The next morning, Sharpe stayed home and later said he wanted Bayless to delete the tweet.
From this, Smith learned that Sharpe would not be staying with Bayless for much longer.
“That was the day (the Asphalt Hamlin clip) I knew Shannon would go undisputed on FS1,” he said.