From time to time, I want to take a moment to respond to people’s questions. I decided to use this forum to do that. The questions may come from my guestbook, e-mail, or right here on this blog. Here’s my first set.
Matt Neeb (from Stephena.com Guestbook)
In a game of 2 on 2, who wins?
Kwame Brown and Michael Olowokandi, or Rasho Nesterovic and Slava Medvedenko?
Yo Matt, it's definitely Rasho and Slava. There isn't a worse
player on the planet than Kwame Brown.
George T. Hadjoglou (from Stephena.com Guestbook)
I know that you're from Hollis. I'm curious about one thing however. Is it possible that you went to either IS 192 or IS 59. I was a math teacher in 192 and an Assistant Principal in 59. For a number of years I have thought that your face looked familiar to me.
George, I attended PS 192. I grew up right around that area.
Michelle (from Stephena.com Guestbook)
Hi Stephen A. It's your Queens friend. You really need to host a call in radio show based on lationships. You always make good points regarding the Strawberry Letters on Steve Harvey's show. You're open and honest in your answers and that is always appreciated. As a woman of a certain age (38), hearing a real man's point of view is always welcome. The youngins might not like it but I do.
Michelle, if the right offer comes I plan on doing just that. Aside from Sports, I absolutely love talking about relationships, politics and social issues. I'm not a morning person, nor do I think I'm that funny, so I'm not capable of doing a show like Steve Harvey's Morning Show -- especially without my boy, Nephew Tommy.
But if the right offer came along, I'd love to do it. Possibly Drive-Time or later in the evening if it extensively involved relationship issues. Again, though, the right offer has to come along :)
Ladies and Gentlemen, here's my first column. I'm a little rusty, so forgive me if I'm not as polarizing as normal (smile!!!!). I'm working on it.
What's up, everybody! I won't even bother apologizing for taking so long to write this blog. Needless to say I've been inundated with NBA Playoff action, more business and personal matters and -- yes, believe it or not -- just flat-out laziness when I've had a moment to write something.
Although it's nothing more than a few moments, I am loving the little bit of free time I have at my disposal now that I've surrendered my radio show on ESPN's 1050 in New York. For the first time in four (4) years, I actually had time to rest in my backyard in the middle of the day, resting in the sunshine on home turf the way I always envisioned. It was just a moment, but it's amazing how one simple moment can serve to remind us of the importance of being able to enjoy the fruits of one's labor. To smell the proverbial roses circulating all around us.
There's no doubt I'll get back into Radio someday in the near future. I actually learned to enjoy doing Radio, especially when something compelling (i.e. Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, etc.) was permeating the airwaves. The thing is, what Radio reminded me of myself more than anything else is how much I love talking about real-life issues. Societal issues. Politics. Relationships. Etc.
Who knows! One day I may actually be afforded to opportunity to do something other than SportsTalk Radio.
Stay tuned! The opportunities could be endless.
For now, though, TODAY is a special day.
In case you didn't know, not only have I returned full time to Television for ESPN, I'm also the new Columnist for ESPN The Magazine AND ESPN.Com. My first column for the Magazine hits Newsstands today, so go grab it and check it out, then get back to me.
I'll holla at ya'll later. But not before I leave you with a few bits of info.
For the record, I voted for Kobe Bryant to win league-MVP honors. He deserves it, plain and simple. Chris Paul (Hornets) finished second in my ballot, followed by Kevin Garnett and LeBron James. Garnett's already had his time in that regard, and Paul and LeBron's time are coming.
As for the playoffs, I still expect the Lakers to win it all. I haven't decided yet, though, whether it'll be Boston or Detroit coming out of the East. I'd love for it to be Boston, but I can't help but have my doubts based on how the Celtics were exposed by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round. That series went 7 games because Boston couldn't deal with Atlanta's athleticism, nor could Boston defend well off the dribble.
As for the Hornets, I'm shocked at what they've done to the Spurs thus far, but the reality is that I shouldn't be. New Orleans in younger and quicker with more hunger. Plus, San Antonio has had trouble scoring all season long. If Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are not clicking on all cylinders, it's tough for the Spurs. And that was before they faced anyone like Paul, so imagine how things are for them
I'm picking the Hornets to win this series. Haven't decided yet whether it would be in 5 or 7 games. That would totally depend on San Antonio winning both Games 3 and 4. If not, the series ends in 5 because New Orleans is not going to lose at home.
Holla at ya'll later.
It's playoff time. Always my favorite time of the year. And despite Isiah Thomas' firing by the New York Knicks -- which left me working about 13 hours non-stop on every-and-all things ESPN, it personified Heaven for me. Being a part of the action. Reporting. Getting my information from the sources themselves, then pontificating in a fashion I enjoy best, which is to say straight-forward, informative and in-your-face.
I even took time out to have some fun, joking around with my colleague, Jalen Rose, about the Toronto Raptors' playoff series vs. the Orlando Magic on ESPN's NBA Shootaround show. When Jalen talked about Bosh needing to toughen up, I said, "It's too late for all of that. He's Manute Bol with short dreds" -- alluding to Bosh' slim physique. That's all I was doing. I swear.
Unfortunately, Bosh took it personally and, from what I've heard (I haven't seen it yet) called me out on his website.
For the record, I'll take whatever he says. I'm a genuine fan of Chris Bosh, from my personal interaction with him to all the wonderful things I've heard about him from coach Sam Mitchell and President/GM Bryan Colangelo. I think he's a phenonmenal young player and one of the most humble people I've ever known in the NBA. I was just having fun and didn't mean to offend him in anyway.
Now get over it and let's get back to talking about the playoffs.
I'll take it series-by-series, keep it real simple, and get into specifics as the playoffs progress.
EASTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS
Celtics vs. Hawks: This series ends in 4 games.
*Boston has the talent, experience and the common sense to avoid talking trash to a superior foe, which is more than anyone can say about Josh Childress and Josh Smith. Their vows about "making history" officially goes down as the dumbest comments of the postseason.
Pistons vs. Sixers: Pistons in 5
*Detroit is too focused, too motivated and much too tired of watching others play in the NBA Finals. Whether they get there or not is irrelevant at this time. Just know Philadelphia won't do a thing to stop them, other than having one good night.
Magic vs. Raptors: Magic in 7
*This will be a highly competitive series. Toronto has a lot of skilled players, although they are a bit too soft for comfort. Problem: They don't have Dwight Howard, nor do they have home-court advantage.
Wizards vs. Cavs: Wizards in 6
*LeBron...LeBron...LeBron. I'm just not feeling it this year. Of course, it's not because of him. I'm just not sold on the idea that Ben Wallace, Joe Smith and Wally Szczerbiak have gelled well enough yet.
Plus, I truly believe Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison can be lethal, especially against the Cavs. And don't sleep on Brendan Haywood. If he gives you anything in this series, it's enough.
WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFFS
Lakers vs. Nuggets: Lakers in 7
*Based on the way the Nuggets have played defense for a majority of this season, they don't deserve the benefit of anyone assuming they'll last 7 games vs. the Lakers. But when you have Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony averaging 53 points per game, how can you not? Still, Kobe is Kobe. Pau Gasol has helped elevate everyone, and the Lakers are just a more disciplined bunch. Besides, we all know where I want to be once June rolls around.
Hornets vs Mavs: Mavs in 6
*Chris Paul is my runner-up for league-MVP honors. Byron Scott is my runner-up for Coach-of-the-Year honors, and New Orleans has had a great year. But they're still young and unproven, totally reliant on perimeter shots, and the Mavs -- especially with the arrival of Jason Kidd -- should be too experienced to fall to these Hornets this year.
Spurs vs. Suns: Spurs in 7
*Once upon a time, it was practically a religion to bet on Shaq. That was my rule: never bet against the Big Fella. But this is a different day. The Spurs, with all their offensive problems, can D-up anybody. They still have Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. And a Game 7 would be on their home floor. If I'm wrong, I won't cry about it, but I've got to pick San Antonio here.
Jazz vs. Rockets: Jazz in 6
*I'm convinced some kind of black cat is following Tracy McGrady around. There's no other explanation for all the bad luck he's experienced throughout his career, and there's no other excuse as to why his bonafide superstar talents have never been displayed anywhere beyond the first round of the playoffs. Yet, despite Utah's atrocious road record, Houston doesn't have Yao Ming, which means they, virtually, have no chance. So McGrady's season will end in April. Again!
What's up everybody? My apologies to any and everyone who's clicked onto my website looking for my latest blog, noticed that it's been weeks since I've written a one -- even after seeing my name in the news so often -- asked themselves what the hell am I doing, and still never received an answer. Until today. Needless to say I've been busy working, negotiating a new contract, regaining a personal life lost sometime ago and salivating over the upcoming NBA Playoffs, which I happen to believe may be the best seen in at least the past decade.
Still, it was necessary to write this blog, specifically, today. Just days after I surrendered my show on ESPN Radio, perhaps making myself happier than I've been in years -- only to witness one erroneous
report after another disseminating a familiar message: that somehow I've failed again and yet another opportunity was being snatched away from me.
This much is true: in the past 18 months my television show "Quite Frankly" was cancelled by ESPN. I was stripped of my column by the Philadelphia Inquirer. The notion of my career disintegrating before
our very eyes was quite conspicuous, and I'm not about to blame anyone for sighing heavily, intrigued over the latest change in my life, exasperated over thoughts as to why "The Stephen A. Smith Show" on ESPN Radio sounded off for the Final time last Thursday afternoon.
So Iet me set the record straight.
I had no problem with ESPN's cancellation of "Quite Frankly." I positively pray that one day I'll have the opportunity to express precisely how I feel about all the misinformation expressed involving the stripping of my column by the Philadelphia Inquirer (I have lawyers for a reason, folks!). And I can't begin to express how happy I am over the decision I've made regarding my present role with ESPN.
To all the haters out there, I regret to inform you that "The Stephen A. Smith Show" was NOT cancelled. I forfeited -- repeat, forfeited -- my show after three long years. Years more successful than I'd ever thought they would be, which ratings will show.
Anyone who knows me knows I never entered SportsTalk-Radio with the intent of doing it for years and years to come. My goal, simply, was to enter the profession and develop my skills to a point where I'd create the option to do television, radio or print once my contract expired.
And that's exactly what I have done.
ESPN, recognizing I've had entirely too much on my plate over the years, was kind enough to give me the choice of picking between television and radio. I picked TV, but that's not all.
I've agreed to be the new Columnist for ESPN The Magazine. I've also agreed to be the new Columnist for ESPN.Com, to go along with my television duties. My TV duties will primarily entail the Network's NBA coverage, but certainly not limited to that, at all.
Essentially, I'm back to being inside those arenas and locker rooms, talking to players and officials, basically doing exactly what I love to do, which is talk TO people I'm actually talking about much more frequently.
That's why I'm happy today.
I'll get into more specifics in the days and weeks to come. I'm still reading the guestbook and all those emails coming in, which are greatly appreciated.
Just do me a favor for the time being: Feel or think whatever you want. Just don't accept anything about me as gospel unless you've heard from me first.
I may procrastinate from time-to-time in addressing your questions.
But I never -- EVER -- hide.