Stephen A. Smith opened Wednesday’s episode of “First Take” with a lengthy apology for his rant against his own employer, ESPN.
Just one day prior, the longtime network personality loudly expressed his frustration with ESPN’s NBA Best 25 under 25 list — which ranks the top young players in the league under the age of 25. Smith immediately took issue with the list when he discovered that Charlotte Hornets rookie LaMelo Ball ranked at No. 3, over established stars such as Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics) and Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz).
Smith’s comments — one of which included a direct message to ESPN, telling the network to “drug test anybody who had something to do with the list” — weren’t received well among some viewers, who took to social media to complain about the outspoken host.