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Report: Stephen A. Smith Eyeing ESPN Show With Magic Johnson

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 8/26/2021 Ben Pickman
Stephen A. Smith standing in front of a crowd © Provided by Sports Illustrated

Stephen A. Smith reportedly wants to team up with Magic Johnson at ESPN, possibly on the network's pregame show "NBA Countdown."

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith wants to team up with Magic Johnson at ESPN, possibly on the network's pregame show "NBA Countdown," according to the New York Post's Andrew Marchand. 

Per the Post, Smith would want to also have "Pardon the Interruption" co-host Michael Wilbon on a future version of the show.

Reports Thursday regarding a potential format of the show comes in the wake of Maria Taylor departing ESPN for NBC and Rachel Nichols being moved off NBA programming.

As noted by the post, Jalen Rose, Jay Williams and Adrian Wojnarowski are all current frequent “Countdown” contributors, with Richard Jefferson, Kendrick Perkins and Chiney Ogwumike as other possible names who could get added to the program. 

Smith and ESPN are also currently in the process of naming a new co-host on "First Take," after the network announced this week that Max Kellerman will join ESPN’s national morning radio show alongside former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson and Williams.

According to Front Office Sports' Michael McCarthy, ESPN is considering bringing on NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin to debate Smith and is eyeing Mondays as a potential appearance day. If the deal comes to fruition, Irvin is not expected to appear on ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” or other NFL-related programming, per McCarthy. Per Marchand, ESPN is also expected to use other internal analysts in Kellerman's absence.

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