Amateur LeRoy Neiman impersonator Bob Raissman poses a disarming theory in his New York Daily News column today: Stephen A. Smith might actually be doing a good job on an ESPN outlet.
Pause to collect yourself before reading:
His career tossed in a dumpster on the campus of Bristol Clown Community College in 2007, there are reasons to believe the comeback of Stephen A. Smith is kicking into high gear.
In February, ESPN brought Sir Loud back to work a nightly show on ESPN-1050 radio and another on the ESPN radio affiliate in Los Angeles. SAS has made the most of these two, two-hour bicoastal shifts.
This was not always the case when Smith was riding high. There were times he wasn't prepared. He tried getting over by running his big yap. In the end Smith fooled no one. This is not the case now. He's still loud, but if he doesn't know something he won't attempt to fake it. Smith's approach is more honest. This only will enhance his credibility as the comeback continues.
I must admit, I heard SAS on some sort of ESPN transmission recently—perhaps one of these radio programs—and found him jarringly measured and insightful. It's like he had his fill of Cheez Doodles and graduated to manchego, or something.
And although Raissman suggests that Stephen A's radio success might lead to more Worldwide Leader TV hits, especially during the NBA lockout, we have another idea. Apparently there's an ESPN-owned web writing concern interested in hiring thoughtful, experienced writers who are sometimes a bit showy. Inquire within.