Earlier this week, we received news that First Take co-host Max Kellerman would be leaving the show soon.
The move comes after the show was littered with mixed reviews after Kellerman took over for Skip Bayless, who left for Fox Sports 1. One of the reasons some say led to Kellerman’s departure was that Stephen A. Smith, the show’s other host and one of ESPN’s stars, wasn’t too fond of Kellerman.
Smith says that isn’t true, though, and quickly took the chance to dismiss the rumor as false.
With that being said, it didn’t appear that Smith would be fighting to keep Max in the chair beside him. In fact, he clearly points out that if Max leaves, then so be it because he will be alright. Many people don’t know that Stephen A. was the driving force behind ESPN trying to get Skip Bayless back into the fold.
ESPN offered to Skip around $6-8 million a year to come back, and he and Stephen A. would have created a whole separate show from first take.
Skip used that offer from ESPN to get a raise from FS1. I have been told that while Skip liked the idea of teaming back up with Stephen A., he wasn’t a fan of going back to ESPN, which Disney runs. They are stricter and would want Skip to work more hours, whereas he has a very cushy schedule in LA with FS1.
That was why he decided to turn down the offer.
As for Max, like was spoken about exclusively on the BSO Substack, he hates working on First Take. Hear what we are saying. He hates working on First Take, not the people on First Take. He has no real beef with Stephen A., but they aren’t going golfing or anything together any time soon.
Flip the page to see the video speaking on Max’s departure.