Stephen A. Smith meets First Take guest, who he claims is ‘trying to take my job,’ in ESPN show’s fiery opening

STEPHEN A. Smith decided to fight on Tuesday’s First Take.

Introducing himself, JJ Redick and their special guest, Rajon Rondo, he had some strong words for the two-time NBA champion.

Smith first appeared on First Take in 2012


Smith first appeared on First Take in 2012Photo Credit: Twitter/First Take/ESPN
Rondo led the NBA in assists three times


Rondo led the NBA in assists three timesPhoto Credit: Twitter/First Take/ESPN

The 55-year-old said: “Yes I am in the house but there is a special guest who is showing up.

“Obviously he’s trying to take over my job. He’s trying to sit up there and debate me.”

But Smith’s attitude towards Rondo quickly took a tack as he was quick to heap praise on the 37-year-old after the title sequence.

Turning to co-host Molly Qerim, he said: “Molly, did you know you’re sitting across from a man? [with an] Eight and a half assist playoff average?

First Take fans in awe of ESPN presenter alongside Molly Qerim
Stephen A. Smith criticizes behavior after channeling Ric Flair on First Take

“Only seven guards in NBA history have averaged more assists per game in the postseason.”

This was Rondo’s second appearance on the popular sports talk show ESPN and his first in his post-play days, having last appeared for the Cleveland Cavaliers in early 2022.

A four-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA All-Defensive First-Teamer, the former Kentucky 21st draft pick had 957 games (733 starts) in 16 seasons.

After nine seasons with the Boston Celtics, Rondo played for the Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, Chicago Bulls, Atlanta Hawks and Los Angeles Lakers.

And speaking of the Lakers, it turns out Rondo has high expectations for LeBron James and company as the postseason approaches.

When asked which teams he favored in the Western Conference, unlike Smith, he decided against the Phoenix Suns.

For Rondo, the teams to watch are “either the Lakers or the (LA) Clippers.”

A shocked Smith pressed him on why he chose the Clippers, especially since they are without their arguably biggest star in Paul George.

However, Rondo remains confident that “they can do it”, especially with an improved Russell Westbrook in their squad.

He said: “Russ has a lot to prove. I expect Russ to make it big.”

In fact, Rondo predicted that the Western Conference Finals could end up involving these two teams.

And as for the Suns, he worries they don’t have “the depth” needed outside of their stars Kevin Durant, Devin Booker and Chris Paul.

Rondo won his second NBA championship in 2020 with the Lakers


Rondo won his second NBA championship in 2020 with the LakersPhoto credit: Getty Images – Getty


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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