Molly Qerim and Stephen A. Smith are absent from First Take as substitute guests and feel the “power” in his seat

JAY Williams has a strong seat to fill on First Take.

The former NBA star, 41, filled in for 55-year-old Stephen A. Smith on Thursday as both he and 39-year-old Molly Qerim were absent from ESPN’s popular sports talk show.

Smith was absent from Thursday's show along with Qerim


Smith was absent from Thursday’s show along with QerimPhoto credit: Getty
Williams is a former Bulls point guard


Williams is a former Bulls point guardPhoto credit: Getty

Christine Williamson once again took Qerim’s place and opened the show by introducing her co-host for the day, Williams, and her first guest analyst, Alan Hahn, 51.

But after Williams admitted he was “excited today,” Hahn asked the former Chicago Bulls star why he “sits so high”?

His answer was simple: “I’m carrying two pillows today because I need to feel big. I’m sitting in Stephen A’s chair, I need to feel big.”

Hahn called it “a power chair,” to which Williams responded by shouting “Power!”

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Williams’ stint in the power chair led to a controversial NBA attitude that ultimately severely divided fans on Twitter.

Speaking of Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic’s performance this postseason, he said, “I truly believe Nikola Jokic is the best one-man offensive line in NBA history this postseason.”

Reactions from fans varied, with one saying, “Most ridiculous shot I’ve seen in a minute.”

One wrote: “For the record, I really like Jay Williams. He’s far better than most TV clowns. That’s… come on…”

While another added: “Unless he wins a ring, he ain’t.”

Jokic will have a chance to prove the doubters wrong and Williams will be right when he and the Nuggets go head-to-head Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday at Ball Arena.

The Nuggets won a hard-fought Game 1 132-126 in Colorado on Tuesday.

(LR) Williams, Williamson and Hahn opened Thursday's episode of First Take


(LR) Williams, Williamson and Hahn opened Thursday’s episode of First TakeCredit: SLING TV/First Shot


ClareFora is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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