ESPN Announces Max Kellerman To Join Radio Show After Leaving ‘First Take’

by Quentin Blount

If you haven’t heard the news by now, Max Kellerman will be leaving the ESPN show First Take.

That’s right, the sports giant ESPN announced on Tuesday that Kellerman would be departing from First Take. Now, this doesn’t come as a huge surprise to those who were paying close attention to the situation. His exit from the show had been expected since last week.

His new job will instead be on a morning radio show alongside ex-NFL wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson and former basketball star Jay Williams. Kellerman will be replacing Zubin Mehenti, who has been on an extended medical absence. As a result, when Mehenti is ready to make his return, he will be heading back to his normal anchoring duties.

In addition, Kellerman will also be hosting a new ESPN television show. We don’t have a ton of information on that just yet, but we’ll be following along closely. Meanwhile, the weekly boxing show that Kellerman appears on ESPN 2 will continue as normal.

For those who don’t know, Kellerman sat across from Stephen A. Smith for five years on ESPN’s First Take. And now with the news of Kellerman heading out, Smith will be turning to a series of rotating guest hosts to debate on his show. The network announced that an updated format for First Take will be revealed very soon.

The Split Up Between Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s ‘First Take’

So, what exactly caused the breakup between Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith? There is likely more to it than what meets the eye. But according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Stephen A. Smith was the one for Kellerman to get kicked off of First Take. And because Smith is one of the network’s highest-paid employees, it looks like he got his way.

“Since he has become a giant in the industry, his moves reverberate,” Marchand said. “Smith has wanted Kellerman off ‘First Take’ for years. Though it wasn’t personal, according to sources, Kellerman has a ‘smartest guy in the room’ attitude, and Smith wanted more of a debating challenger. And ultimately, he wanted it to be hi versus the world.”

When you think about everything in a vacuum, a clearer picture does start to form. Back in January Stephen A. Smith told USA TODAY Sports that he had a dream of hosting late-night television. And it seems like he is inching closer and closer to making that dream a reality. He just filled in for the great Jimmy Kimmel on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday night.

And now with Max Kellerman out of the picture for ESPN’s First Take, Smith is free to kind of run the show from here on out. We’ll see how this move will affect both of their careers moving forward.