America’s most popular sports media figure sent On The Inside a copy of his new memoir “Straight Shooter” before his official January 17th release date. It is a surprisingly personal book that not only dishes out his signature, uninhibited opinions but also reveals the challenges he overcame in childhood as well as who he really is when the cameras are off.
Growing up in the hardest of circumstances in Queens, the youngest of six children of Caribbean immigrants, Stephen A. Smith never had a “free ride”. Far from being an “overnight success”, Smith has had to overcome many setbacks along his journey, from undiagnosed dyslexia to barely having enough cereal for breakfast. Despite these struggles, Smith was driven by his passion for sports, and it was during his time at Winston-Salem State University as a basketball player, that he wrote a newspaper column that brought his dreams of sports writing closer to reality – a column in which he argued for the retirement of basketball Hall Of Fame coach Clarence Gaines.
Beginning his career as a high school reporter for New York’s Daily News, Smith tirelessly worked his way up in the 90s to become a general sports columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2005, Smith made his mark in the broadcasting industry as a host on ESPN. After being abruptly fired in 2009, Smith was determined to prove his worth and value, ultimately being rehired two years later. With his keen intellect and bold debating techniques, Smith handily earned the role on the show that he was born to star in, ESPN’s First Take morning program.
In Straight Shooter, Smith opens up about the best and worst moments of his life and career, discussing topics ranging from Skip Bayless, Ray Rice, Colin Kaepernick, the New York Knicks, the Dallas Cowboys, to Donald Trump’s presidency. However, the real gems lie within the details of his personal story, providing insight into his difficult relationship with his dad, the influence of his mom, fatherhood, grappling with life-threatening COVID-19, while giving us a glimpse into his candid views on politics and society at large. With his signature wit, intelligence, and charisma, Smith invites readers on an intimate journey through his experiences.
Provocative, moving, and eye-opening, this book is the perfect gift for lovers of sports, television, and anyone who likes their stories delivered straight to the heart.