Hustle Mindset

When Stephen A. Smith Signed A $1.3M Contract To Receive His Own ESPN Show, He Retired His Late Mother


Stephen A. Smith’s proudest moment was retiring his late mother.

For the host of ESPN’s “First Take,” he has kept his mother in high regards due to her sacrifices raising him with a father he describes as “negligent.” In 2005, Smith was able to reward his mother when he signed a $1.3 million annual contract with ESPN to receive his own show, called “Quite Frankly,” he revealed on the “Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson” podcast.

At the time, his mother had retired as a registered nurse working at Queens General Hospital in New York, NY, but she took on work at the Police Athletic League (PAL) to fund her yearly vacations because she did not have additional earnings outsides of her pension and savings.

“My proudest moment to this day was that I drove straight home, and I put it in my book straight shooter, I drove straight from Manhattan to Queens, New York. I walked right in that PAL and I grabbed her by the arm and I said ‘Let’s go,’” Smith expressed on the podcast. “I looked at her boss, and I said ‘My mother’s not coming back,’ and I drove her back home three blocks away, and she was like ‘What’s going on?’ and I told her I signed this contract’… I said ‘The mortgage is paid.’ I said ‘And your vacation,’ and I handed her two tickets to a trip to Europe, and I said, ‘You ain’t got to work no more. Go and enjoy yourself. It’s my turn.’ And that to this day is the proudest moment of my life. There’s no other moment.”


Smith also mentioned that the rewards for his mother, who passed away in 2017, could have also included her dream home, but at the time his contract was not sufficient to afford the purchase, not until his 2019 contract worth $60 million, according to Bloomberg.

“To watch my mother struggle the way that she did all of those years trying to take care of us because my father was real negligent and didn’t do his part, to see her go through what she went through and for me to have that moment,” he stated. “The only thing that would have been better was 2019 because that’s when I really did get the contract. That contract was excessively more than the one that I signed back in 2005. That contract would have enabled me to buy her a dream house in St. Thomas you know and take care of everything.”

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