One week after an initial report told the world that Shannon Sharpe would be joining Stephen A Smith on ‘First Take,’ Smith confirmed that the deal has been officially made.
Smith made the announcement on First Take Thursday morning.
“It’s all about not standing still and taking it to another level and, official this morning, Mr. Shannon Sharpe will be joining the crew. He will be joining ‘First Take — it is official.”
Sharpe confirmed the deal to be sealed with a photoshopped image of he and Smith super-imposed as Dwayne Wade and LeBron James in their infamous alley-oop photo with a caption that mentioned both men being HBCU alumni — Smith of Winston-Salem State and Sharpe from Savannah State.
Sharpe will join Smith twice a week — Mondays and Tuesdays — to debate sports topics. Sharpe will make his debut on Sept. 4, according to Smith.
There had been speculation since Sharpe was reported to be leaving ‘Undisputed’ this spring that he might end up at ESPN and possibly opposite Smith. The two have made it clear throughout the summer they were in contact regarding a potential meeting of the HBCU minds on national television. The New York Post reported that Sharpe would join ‘First Take’ twice weekly, but Smith contended that the deal was not officially done at that time. Apparently, it happened very recently.
“I just learned it 60 seconds ago,” Smith said while making the announcement on First Take. “Literally it is official — Shannon Sharpe is coming to ‘First Take.’
Smith made sure to get an early jab in before Sharpe arrives on set.
“In advance, to my brother Shannon Sharpe…First of all thank you for joining the show. Secondly, condolences in advance. You’re not used to getting beat down. He’s the modern day Black Hulk. He’s not used to getting beat down.”