Cam Newton Prefers Shaquille O’Neal Over Stephen A. Smith When It Comes To Hot Takes

NFL player Cam Newton watches an undercard race before the running of the 148th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2022, in Louisville. (Gunnar Word/Getty Images)

Cam Newton would rather hear NBA takes from Shaquille O’Neal than Stephen A. Smith. He prefers hearing a seasoned veteran over an analyst who stays on the sidelines.

Cam Newton Likes Shaquille O’Neal’s Takes

In a time where social media is accessible from virtually anywhere, podcasts have risen to the top. Many of these conversations usually stem from experts in their fields.

However, Newton doesn’t like that some talking heads speak too much on the topic without expertise on the Hall of Famer’s podcast, The Big Podcast.

Furthermore, he thinks the podcast environment is too saturated as seemingly everyone has one. This may be generally good as it provides variety in content, but it also gets filled with filler content.

“We’re living in the golden age of athlete-generated content more than any other time in sports. People tune in to podcasts, this is a podcast epidemic. Everybody got one. People are leaning into receiving their content in a different way.”

Cameron Newton

He tries to prevent shading on specific talking heads in the industry. However, it’s difficult to skirt the topic as Newton’s issue centers on the talk show host.

Feb 23, 2024; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith talks with Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards (5) prior to the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

While he does call him out for it, he shows no malintent towards the First Take host.

“If I want to hear about basketball, I want to hear from Shaquille O’Neal, not *inaudible*. Respectfully, not Stephen A. Smith and Stephen A. is a good guy.”

Cameron Newton

The former NFL quarterback explains that he’s still a fan of these analysts and sports pundits. Moreover, he doesn’t want to bar them from keeping on the grind with their jobs.

However, it just doesn’t measure up to an actual player’s take, specifically the emotions, experience, and first-hand reliability of their conversations.

“Am I fan of Scott Van Pelt? Am I a fan of, rest in peace to Stuart Scott? Yeah. Do I want to suppress their road to that? No, by no means. But if you’re talking about real emotions, real preparations, real feelings, real experiences, you’re going straight to the source.”

Cameron Newton

Newton’s Take Starts A Witch Hunt

Fans crowd the comment section with talking heads they usually dislike. Some point out that the 34-year-old has a point, but there are also unreliable NBA players.

A user points out that they think Gilbert Arenas usually gives out questionable takes, even as a retired NBA player.

Meanwhile, others agree with his take as they don’t want to hear from Smith, who “can’t even bounce a basketball without tripping.”

Do you think the league has too many talking heads?