When news broke that Stephen A. Smith's salary at ESPN was set to balloon to $10 million, most folks on social media scoffed at it. How could Smith, who looked woefully unprepared at times during this past NFL season, possibly be worth that much money? All he does is yell, scream and get things wrong, right? Oh, how wrong can you be.
The entertainment factor Smith brings is worth every penny, and even without his former partner in crime Skip Bayless, he's still thriving. Look no further than his social media presence, as Smith has amassed a following of over four million people on Twitter and 1.6 million on Instagram. His videos routinely garner hundreds of thousands of views thanks to his theatrical nature. Hate all you want, but the man knows what he's doing.
This was more apparent than ever on Friday night, when Smith sent out a video captioned "I JUST heard the news about D’Angelo Russell and.........." followed by a on-camera rant. The topic of choice was the odd story involving Brooklyn Nets star point guard D'Angelo Russell, who was cited for marijuana possession at LaGuardia airport on Wednesday. Here's how Smith smartly teased how he'd tackle the issue on "First Take" Friday morning:
For those who have somehow avoided Smith entirely the last few years, they probably wondered how this video has cracked two million views and received over 15 thousand retweets and more than 80 thousand likes, astronomical Twitter numbers any way you slice it. That's because folks were hoping Smith was going to roll out his trade mark "stay off the damn WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE....DUH" phrase, a message to other star athletes who have been caught smoking the devil's lettuce like Josh Gordon, Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount, just to name a few. Smith has used it so often that it's led to absolutely hilarious montages and remixes of all the times he's said it. Here's a compilation to get you up to speed:
And here are a few of the remixes made by fans, which are side-splitting, especially if you're high as a kite... Just kidding, Stephen A.!
Incredible. And there are many, many more where that came from.
Finally, on Friday, our long national nightmare was over when Smith commented on the Russell situation, adding another classic "WEEEEE...DUH" to the collection:
One of the best yet. Well worth the wait Stephen A. Still think this guy isn't worth $10 million?