Stephen A. Smith has become the face of sports talk shows in the United States. Smith, who has been a sports correspondent for decades now, has seen great growth in popularity over the last 10 years. 

Smith initially got his first big break with ESPN, and then became a panelist for the popular sports talk show 'First Take'. He was paired up with Skip Bayless, who is now with Fox Sports on his own show. 

But his tenure with ESPN has allowed him to become one of the most popular figures in the sports world, despite him not being directly involved in any leagues in any capacity.

Smith is a colorful personality, who uses his humorous reactions to sports stories to garner interest in his show. Smith's rants, especially about the New York Knicks, have become popular memes on the internet. Because of his natural charisma and entertaining demeanor, Smith has been a mainstay at ESPN for so long.