stephenGrowing up I lived in a household with a bunch of football playing men.  Since my father was from Plateau, Alabama… my brothers lived and breathed football.  They dabbled into baseball from time to time but it was football that dominated my falls and winters.  As I grew up, I encountered more guys into basketball than football and since I really didn’t understand either sport, switching was nothing for me to do.  In fact I found basketball to be a bit easier for me to understand than football but I can’t take the credit for this.  Thanks to Stephen A. Smith, sports finally received a bit of personality and before I knew I looked forward to hearing the color commentary from him on ESPN or Charles, Ernie and Kenny on TNT.  My newfound love of sports not only impressed others but surprised me as well.

Today when I heard that Stephen A. Smith (why do we use his whole name?) was leaving ESPN, I was shocked.  Who will I watch on ESPN? Mike & Mike are okay, PTI (Pardon The Interruption) isn’t bad either but no one can entertain me regarding sports commentary like Stephen A. Smith.

The ESPN reporter, who once had a show on the network’s ESPN2 titled “Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith,” will officially end his tenure with the station on May 1. According to Web site, The Big Lead, Smith’s contract is due to expire after the NBA playoffs and the two parties could not reach a new agreement.

I’m sure he will go on to do bigger and better things but just as every celebrity, he can be reached on Twitter (StephenASmith).  Late Monday, Smith sent three tweets regarding his impending exit:

Just wanted to send a Shout Out to everyone expressing their love and concern. It’s truly, deeply appreciated. But I’m fine. Believe me.  … I’m in Atlanta having a ball, covering the Hawks/Heat series. But I’ll make sure to take a moment to explain a few things in a couple…   …This is a beautiful time in my life. I’m looking forward to the new challenges that await.”

I wish him much success and appreciate him for making me look forward to hearing what sports commentators had to say.