Sep 12, 2022 - Sports

Stephen A. Smith helps raise money for WGPR museum

Stephen A. Smith
Stephen A. Smith tells Axios he's got plenty of friends in Detroit. "Who they are is none of anybody's business," he says. Photos: Samuel Robinson/Axios

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith was in Detroit over the weekend to help raise money for the museum inside the old WGPR studios.

Driving the news: Smith spent three days in the city. His show, "First Take" was broadcast live from inside the William V. Banks Broadcast Museum Friday. where he also spoke to media, city officials and student broadcasters as part of a youth panel with Detroit natives Jalen Rose, Greg Kelser and Bart Scott.

  • He was also the special guest at the WGPR gala on Saturday, where he discussed the role of diversity in media.

What he's saying: "I've always loved this city. It's just that your team stinks," Smith tells Axios. "It's not my fault that the Detroit Lions haven't won a playoff game since 1991. It's not my fault that the Detroit Pistons just started being relevant for the first time since Joe Dumars left. It ain't my fault that the Tigers ain't been that damn relevant either."

  • When asked what he likes from the Pistons going into year three of its rebuild, Smith said there's a young core fans should be excited about, though he still seems underwhelmed by Cade Cunningham.
  • "When I see (coach Dwane) Casey struggling record wise, it affects me, because I know that he is much better than the record indicates," Smith tells Axios. "He's clearly a damn good coach and an even better man."

Between the lines: Organizers said Smith came to Detroit with the help of his current boss at ESPN, head of NBA and studio production David Roberts, who began his career as a reporter at WGPR-TV62 in 1978.

Stephen A. Smith and Detroit native Bart Scott on the set of ESPN's First Take.
Stephen A. Smith and Detroit native Bart Scott on the set of ESPN's First Take.
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