If life in sports was a board game, it would most certainly be Monopoly. People make moves all of the time, some wind up in jail, a few spend a fortune on insane properties, and there’s a crazy amount money tossed around each and every time you blink. It’s not slowing down, either.
Just recently, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout received the biggest contract in sports history, NFL broadcaster Tony Romo is looking for $10 million to stay with CBS and Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari agreed to a lifetime contract. Now, one of the biggest sports personalties might get a massive pay day that would make every college coach in America blush.
According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, ESPN is looking to make Stephen A. Smith the richest talent in the company’s history. The Worldwide Leader in Sports is reportedly about to sign the on-air star to a deal worth $10 million per year.
Using his words, that’s quite frankly preposterous and unfathomable.
Whether you like him or not, the 51-year-old Smith has done it all in his career. He started his career in the print media industry, most famously with the New York Daily News and The Philadelphia Inquirer, and has starred as a radio host and on television for the past few years with ESPN, Sirius XM and Fox Sports Radio.
Heck, the man has even been an actor in commercials and during ABC soap opera General Hospital, for crying out loud. His former ESPN counterpart Skip Bayless and current First Take co-hosts Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim can’t say that.
But to think Stephen A. Smith, the sports journalist who is never shy to speak and make his opinion known as loudly as possible, is going to get up to $10 million per year and become ESPN’s highest-paid talent is pretty wild.
Although not all ESPN salaries are released, The Post reports the highest publicly known salary is “Get Up!” host Mike Greenberg, while the Pardon the Interruption (PTI) duo of Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon are “believed to be in Greenberg’s neighborhood.”
Additionally, Scott Van Pelt could be up there with how well his nightly “SportsCenter” has taken off.
As of right now, Smith, a Queens, New York native and graduate of Winston-Salem State University, has two years left on his current contract, which is paying him around $5 million annually, according to the New York Post. Now that might double.
Not only would it double, the new deal would also pay the sports television personality from Thomas Edison High School in New York City more money than any college coach in the country. More than Calipari. More than Alabama’s Nick Saban. More than everyone.
So the next time you want to bash Stephen Anthony Smith for getting on your nerves talking about LeBron James in the NBA on his television talk show or the NFL on his ESPN radio show, just know he’s laughing, and probably yelling, all the way to the bank.
From starting his career with the Winston-Salem Journal and Greensboro News and Record to possibly making $10 million at ESPN. Talk about a Hall of Fame boost to your net worth.