Today (October 14) marks Stephen A. Smith's 49th birthday. In celebration of the ESPN personality's born day, BET.com decided to look back at some of his greatest First Take meltdowns, whether it was blasting former co-host Skip Bayless or duking it out with current co-host Max Kellerman. These meltdowns are the epitome of why Stephen A. can turn to Screamin A. in the blink of an eye! Blasphemous!
When his former First Take co-host Skip Bayless said that Tim Tebow is a bigger box-office draw than both Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, Stephen A. Smith had no other choice but to walk off the set of the ESPN show in pure disgust. We can't blame him, either. An underperforming quarterback who's now trying to play baseball being a bigger draw than the Black Mamba and King James? How Sway!?
Regular watchers of First Take know that Stephen A. Smith despises nothing more than to see star players throw away their futures to smoke weed. After all, repeated athletes' violations gave birth to Smith's "Stay off the weed-duh" plead. Well, things bubbled over earlier this year when Le'Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant — from his favorite Pittsburgh Steelers team — were suspended due to marijuana use. Stephen A. blew his top and lost his mind.
When Kevin Durant took offense to a story about him entertaining free agency last October, he let the world know that "I don't talk to Stephen A. Smith at all" and "nobody in my family, my friends — they don't talk to Stephen A. Smith. So, he's lying." Well, the longtime sports reporter/personality took offense to that, making sure to mean mug a hole through First Take cameras, before grimly stating, "You don't want to make an enemy out of me." Chalk this up to when ESPN meets a Smack DVD.
So bothered by the assertion that Kobe Bryant would miss the 2012-13 season-opener due to a sprained foot, Stephen A. Smith discredited the report and added "n**** please" for effect.
Back in February 2012, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tweeted that he'd give up his season's salary if baseball player Ryan Braun wasn't clean. Well, in July 2013, Braun accepted a suspension from Major League Baseball due to involvement with performance-enhancing drugs. Skip Bayless took the tweet literally and said Rodgers should pony up the money. Stephen A. reverted to Screamin A., yelling, "Are you on drugs!? Are you on drugs!?" Smith even rose out of his seat, wanting to square up with his co-host in what was sports-debate-television magic.
After losing a bet, Stephen A. Smith was forced to wear a Dallas Cowboys' Tony Romo jersey for an entire episode of First Take. [Smith despises the Cowboys and routinely makes fun of their futility]. What's worse? It was on his birthday two years ago. Absolute hilarity.
Like most New Yorkers, Stephen A. Smith just can't stand the New York Knicks sputtering the way they have over the past several years. He let it all out last March after the Knicks had lost six straight and were 2-12 in their last 14 games. "Atrocity" and an "embarrassment" were some of the labels Smith slapped on the franchise in disgust.
Stephen A. blasted New York Knicks president Phil Jackson for selecting a European player, Kristaps Porzingis, with the No. 4 pick of the 2015 NBA Draft. He wasn't having it, as he claimed he took time out of his vacation to address the pick. But as Porzingis impressed throughout his rookie year, Smith would later change his tune.
"I think it's blasphemous that anybody would say that there are  players in the NBA better than Carmelo Anthony," Stephen A. said just this week, reacting to SLAM ranking Melo No. 15 on their Top 50 NBA players rankings, entering the 2016-17 season.
As a special guest on First Take on Friday morning, Kevin Hart gifted Stephen A. a Tim Tebow New York Mets jersey for his birthday. If there's one thing that the ESPN personality hates more than talking Tebow in the NFL, it's probably Tebow pursuing baseball. To his credit, though, Stephen A. was a good sport, wearing the jersey much to his disgust. Hey, when the ESPN personality loses his lid, everyone wins!
(Photo: RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)