Last month, it was reported that Max Kellerman, Stephen A. Smith’s co-host on First Take, could possibly be getting the boot from ESPN’s beloved weekday talk show. According to previous rumors, Kellerman — who is known for bravely spewing wild hot takes about Tom Brady, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, and everyone in between — was reportedly set to be removed from First Take in 2022 to take on a take on a bigger role at ESPN Radio.
On Wednesday, however, First Take surprised viewers by suddenly revealing that today’s episode would be Max Kellerman’s final day on the job.
At the conclusion of the episode on September 1, Molly Qerim Rose, special guest Harry Douglas, and Stephen A. Smith honored Max’s five-year contributions to First Take before bidding him farewell.
“All I wanted to say was to call in and to thank my man Max for the five years,” Stephen A. Smith tells Max while calling into the show. “Originally when we talked, it was supposed to be a three-year run, and the next thing you know, it was a five-year run. We’ve been number one every single year, and you had an awful lot to do with that. I wanted to thank you for your contribution to the show. I wanted to call and wish you nothing but the best moving forward, because you’re going to be doing big things like you’ve always been doing big things. I’m calling the wish you nothing but the best, and I’m really sorry that I couldn’t be there to tell you face to face to thank you for everything that you did for the show over the last five years.”
Watch First Take‘s full farewell video for Max Kellerman below. Are you sad to see him leave the show? Or are you looking forward to Stephen A. Smith teaming up with a new co-host and bringing some new energy to First Take?