Conventional wisdom in sports says that when a team acquires a marquee player via free agency or a trade, it inevitably adjusts its style of play for the sake of accommodation.
However, this might not be the case in sports media—especially if ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith has his druthers.
Smith has been open to bringing Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe to ESPN in the wake of his impending reported departure from Fox, but stressed that his hypothetical addition to the network wouldn’t fundamentally change the flow of First Take.
“I welcome Shannon Sharpe to First Take, but it would be in the mix of being part of the family. I’m not looking for an everyday person on First Take. So, for all of you clamoring for that, get over it,” Smith said Wednesday on The Stephen A. Smith Show. “I like the potpourri of contributors. I like the action and the excitement and the fun on the show. Adding people into the mix is one thing. Changing the complete makeup and formula of the show is entirely different.”
Sharpe is ending a run alongside former First Take co-host Skip Bayless on FS1’s Undisputed, which began in 2016, reportedly reaching a buyout agreement in May amid longstanding rumors of tension between the two hosts. He is expected to leave the show at the conclusion of the NBA Finals.