In a surprising series of public exchanges on X (formerly “Twitter”), a growing feud has emerged between ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and retired NFL player Terrell Owens over Owens’ comments on Smith’s former colleague, Max Kellerman. With emotions running high, Dallas Mavericks point guard Kyrie Irving stepped in, advocating for peace.
The root of the contention began when Stephen A. Smith was interviewed on Joe Budden’s podcast. There, Smith expressed his reluctance to work with Max Kellerman. Smith speculated that audiences might not have resonated with Kellerman due to his background lacking as an athlete or journalist.
“I had mad respect for him from the standpoint of white dude, highly intelligent, Ivy League, educated from Columbia. Smart as a whip. Can talk his *** off. Can talk about anything. I get all that. But you weren’t an athlete, and you weren’t a journalist. And the absence of the two components left people wondering ‘why should we listen to you?’”Stephen A. Smith on the Joe Budden Podcast
This backdrop led to Owens referencing a 2019 episode of “First Take,” wherein he remarked that Kellerman “almost seems blacker than” Stephen A. Smith. An X user posited that this clip was perhaps the reason behind Smith’s animosity towards Kellerman. Owens emphatically endorsed this theory by quoting the tweet and adding “FACTS” followed by exclamation marks.
In response, Stephen A. Smith took a more confrontational route, promising to dedicate an entire episode of his YouTube show to expose Owens, specifically pointing out supposed backdoor betrayals Owens orchestrated against black individuals.
Owens, never one to back down, taunted Smith to go ahead and unmask these alleged secrets.
As tensions escalated, Kyrie Irving interjected with a tweet, tagging Smith and urging both parties to communicate maturely off the social media platform and settle their differences.
In a surprising twist, Smith, while hinting at Irving’s unawareness of the entire situation, acknowledged the wisdom in Irving’s words and decided to stand down.
Yet, Owens seemed unwilling to let things die down, goading Smith not to retreat and challenging him to reveal whatever secrets he supposedly held.
With all the drama going on, there’s another interesting bit. Shannon Sharpe, who used to work with Skip Bayless, now sits next to Stephen A. Smith on First Take. Funny enough, Sharpe has mistakenly called Smith “Skip” not once but three times. While everyone’s waiting to hear what Max Kellerman thinks about this argument, they’re also chuckling about these name mix-ups. Given the track record of all involved, this story is far from its final chapter.