Stephen A. Smith has a forthcoming memoir, and he promises it will be just as bold and boisterous as he is on ESPN.

According to the announcement by 13A, an imprint of Gallery Books, Smith’s Straight Shooter: A Memoir of Second Chances and First Takes is slated to be released in January 2023. In the memoir, Smith covers the hardships of growing up poor in New York City, his early days as a journalist, and his polarizing climb through sports media to becoming one of the industry’s premier voices.

“This book is a long time coming. Due to my fixation on privacy pertaining to my personal life, it took a lot of time, and a lot of prodding by loved ones, to finally get me to do this,” Smith said in a statement.

“But as I once told my Mom, ‘if I’m going to write a book, I’ll be damned if I’m holding back,” he continued. “I’m going to speak my truth, say what I have to say, just so everyone knows where I stand and why.’ I know I’ve done that in this book. I had to do so eventually. It was time. No matter the consequences.”

As Smith prepares for the release of his memoir, his friend and former First Take sparring partner, Skip Bayless recently announced similar plans to write a book about his own life, although it’s not nearly as set to be published.

“I will write one,” Bayless declared on his podcast last week. “I will call my autobiography ‘Unleashed,’ with a subtitle of ‘How I Never Lost a Debate on National TV.’”

The “never lost a debate” is a head-scratching assertion that both Bayless and Smith have made in recent years, which is more ego serving than factual considering the duo spent four years arguing against each other on First Take. If Bayless and Smith both never lost a debate, then there were no winners either.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to