Long-time ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith has made an entire career off of the force of his personality. His success and fame, along with his ubiquity and longevity, are a testament to the notion that it doesn’t matter so much what you say, as long as you say it loudly and with conviction.
He spent a large chunk of his career sitting across the desk from long-time sparring partner Skip Bayless on ESPN’s First Take, until the latter left for Fox Sports and was replaced with the equally pugnacious Max Kellerman.
But Smith’s career wasn’t always so rosy. There was a stretch during his early days at ESPN when the network cancelled his show Quite Frankly and didn’t renew his contract. Smith had an opportunity to interview Donald Trump on Quite Frankly, and he claims the now president offered him some of the most important advice of his career.