Stephen A. Smith is one of the best sports pundits on the internet, and he always has something to say. So much so that he’s transitioned in recent years from commenting strictly about the drama surrounding players like Zion Williamson to random pop culture questions fans ask him. Recently, someone asked him his definitive pick for the best original starter Pokémon, and once again, Smith has shown he’s the undisputed GOAT when it comes to great takes.
The First Take host may have the occasional misstep, like when he had to apologize to Rihanna after his critique of her performance at the Super Bowl, but he’s batting 1,000% when it comes to talking Pokémon. On The Stephen A. Smith Show, a fan tweeted the pundit and asked what his definitive choice was for the best starter Pokémon in the Kanto region. Check out the short video of the moment below, and see who he chose out of Charmander, Bulbasaur, and Squirtle:
I’m guessing by the fact he mispronounced two out of the three names he’s not incredibly well-versed in Pokémon, but credit to Stephen A. Smith for making the right call all the same. Charmander doesn’t just have the same forehead as Smith, he’s also my undisputed GOAT for a starter Pokémon and a beloved favorite in the fandom.
Granted, if we were to look at pure stats and advantages in the early games of Pokémon Red and Blue, Bulbasaur is the best option. Grass type has an advantage over the opening Rock and Water gyms, and Charmander is definitely put at a disadvantage in comparison.
Stephen A. Smith knows that the beginning doesn’t always represent the finished product. When Shannon Sharpe joined First Take and accidentally called him Skip Bayless, did Smith write off his co-host? No, he avidly defended Sharpe, and before too long, they were clicking and killing it together on ESPN.
Similar to Shannon Sharpe, Charmander is a Pokémon that only improves over time. His evolutionary stages are among the best in the game, and trainers who put in the work will end up with a Charizard that is among the best original 151 creatures in the game, despite the opinion of CinemaBlend’s Rich Knight. Smith made the right decision here, even if the decision was made partly out of vanity.
It’s no surprise that Stephen A. Smith is in top form for forming opinions either, as we’re entering a big time for the sports world. Between the upcoming Super Bowl, March Madness, and the second half of the NBA season cutting into the 2024 TV schedule, he needs to be on his A-game with all of his sports takes. What better way to train for that than to comment on pop culture?
Catch Stephen A. Smith on First Take on ESPN weekdays beginning at 10 a.m. ET. As mentioned, there’s no shortage of sports going on in the coming months, so now would be the time to check in and see what he has to say about everything.