“Max Ain’t A Journalist, Max Ain’t An Athlete, But You Were Begging Him To Come To NY To Join The Show” | Marcellus Wiley Spittin’ Facts On Stephen A. And Max Kellerman Situation?

Ex-NFL player turned sports commentator Marcellus Wiley has jumped into the Stephen A. Smith vs. Max Kellerman fray to offer up some clarity. According to Wiley, “First Take” was not struggling when Kellerman was the co-host with Smith, and the real reason he wanted Kellerman gone was because Kellerman wouldn’t play a role.

Smith Is A Master Promoter

Let’s back rewind a bit. Smith is almost always on a public relations tour. For a man that has ample opportunity to speak on his own platforms, he loves going on other platforms to promote himself even more. He is a master, and understands how news cycles in the social media era works.

On a recent episode of “The Joe Budden Podcast,” Smith spoke about his former co-host Kellerman and why it didn’t work.

“I had mad respect for him from the standpoint of white dude, highly intelligent, Ivy League, educated from Columbia. Smart as a whip. Can talk his ass off. Can talk about anything. I get all that. But you weren’t an athlete, and you weren’t a journalist. And the absence of the two components left people wondering, ‘Why should we listen to you?'”

With all due respect, Stephen A., that’s a lie. Kellerman was hosting a public access boxing show when he was a teenager in the mid 1990s. When he graduated from Columbia University he was hired by ESPN to be an in-studio analyst on “Friday Night Fights” when they saw a demo reel of his work.

Kellerman was the original host and architect of the still-popular “Around the Horn,” he’s hosted national radio shows, television shows, etc. His resumé was well established before teaming up with Smith. Nobody was questioning his credentials.

Enter Wiley, who says the issue is that Kellerman wouldn’t play a role. The “smart white guy” but his takes can’t outshine Smith’s. I mean, it’s his show.

The infamous segment where ex-NFL WR Terrell Owens said, “Max almost seems blacker than you Stephen A” is an infamous moments fans point to in that dynamic.

Marcellus Wiley With Receipts?

Similar to Smith’s current co-host Shannon Sharpe outshining his former partner Skip Bayless during argument segments, Kellerman would routinely do that to Smith.

Wiley says Smith went to management with an ultimatum because he didn’t want to deal with that type of competition on his own show.

“Max wasn’t the problem,” Wiley said. “We’ve got love for you, we really do. But you ain’t gonna get more love out of us hating on Max.”


Wiley also said it was hypocritical of Smith to take Sharpe’s side, when he did the same thing to Kellerman that Bayless did to Sharpe.

The former All-Pro DE also said it was Smith that was begging for Kellerman to come to NYC and join the show as a co-host.

“Max ain’t a journalist, Max ain’t an athlete but you were begging him to come to NY to join the show.”

Wiley is a friend of Kellerman’s as they hosted a Los Angeles radio drive-time show together and they are both Columbia alumni.

But Wiley’s been in the game a long time and has been on ESPN and FS1, he knows the ins and outs of a lot of these situations.

Whether Wiley is telling the truth, however, is irrelevant. Why?

Because his foray into the fray now gives Smith another person to go after and talk about on his multitude of platforms.

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