Shannon Sharpe, Stephen A. Smith, and Charles Barkley Named Top 25 Sports Personalities by Complex Sports


by Paulina Isaac

December 14, 2023

Congratulations to all the honorees!

Complex Sports recently released its Top 25 Sports Personalities list, and familiar names in sports were included. Surprisingly, of the 25 spotlighted, the majority of them were Black sports personalities, making up 17 of the 25 on the list in an industry that used to be dominated by white males. Despite the subjective nature of the word “entertaining,” there’s no denying the magnetism that comes along with the names listed below.

From newcomers to legends, the list is based primarily on 2023 performance, but Complex explains that longevity and résumé were also considered. Honorable mentions include Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson, Candace Parker, Matt Barnes & Stephen Jackson, Marshawn Lynch, and Jeff Teague.


Keep scrolling for a list of the memorable Black men and women who are honored on the 2023 list. Check out the full list at Complex and read more about their career highlights.

Kenny Beecham, Podcast Host, YouTube Content Creator

(Cover photo: Kenny Beecham YouTube/Photo Courtesy of Up North Management)

Beecham has interviewed NBA stars like Steph Curry and started a podcast with his friends called Through the Wire.


Robert Griffin III, Monday Night Countdown Co-Host

(Cover photo: Robert Griffin III/Photo Courtesy of X)

Griffin is on Monday Night Countdown and regularly calls college football games on Saturdays.

Joy Taylor, Speak Co-Host

(Cover photo: Joy Taylor/Photo Courtesy of CAA)

Taylor is known for her allegiance to Miami sports teams and polarizing hot takes.

Kendrick Perkins, NBA Today, First Take, and NBA Countdown Analyst

(Cover photo: Kendrick Perkins/Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

Complex calls Perkins a “polarizing” figure, noting that he is known for his humor and in-depth NBA analysis.


Taylor Rooks, Thursday Night Football, NBA, and Bleacher Report Interviewer

(Cover photo: Taylor Rooks/Photo Courtesy of Instagram)

Rooks’ career goes beyond just sports media. She’s modeled for campaigns with Drake and OVO, and appeared in a recent Jordan Off-White film.

Kevin Garnett, KG Certified Host

(Cover photo: Kevin Garnett/Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Pottheiser)

The former NBA player is known for his in-depth NBA analysis and playful banter.

Paul Pierce, KG Certified Co-Host

(Cover photo: Paul Pierce/Photo Courtesy of NBAE via Getty Images)

Pierce is famous for his unfiltered commentary and for being a great teammate to Garnett.


Ryan Clark, NFL LiveSportsCenterGet Up!, and First Take Analyst; The Pivot Podcast Co-Host

(Cover photo: Ryan Clark/Photo Courtesy of ESPN)

Clark co-hosts The Pivot Podcast with Fred Taylor and Channing Crowder, where they chat with athletes, rappers, actors, and celebrities. 

Draymond Green, The Draymond Green Show Host, Bleacher Report, Golden State Warriors Player

(Cover photo: Draymond Green/Photo Courtesy of Instagram)

Green is a bonafide sports superstar; he is an NBA player while also being a sports analyst.

Thierry Henry, UEFA Champions League Today Pundit

(Cover photo: Thierry Henry/Photo Courtesy of Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Henry is a French professional soccer coach, pundit, sports broadcaster, and former player.


Michael Irvin, NFL Network, First Take, and Undisputed Analyst

(Cover photo: Michael Irvin/Photo Courtesy of NFL/Getty Images)

Irvin’s greatest moments from his on-air appearances have become viral social media staples. 

Gilbert Arenas, Gil’s Arena Podcast Host

(Cover photo: Gilbert Arenas/Photo Courtesy of Scott Taetsch)

Arenas is known for his unfiltered basketball takes and his popular podcast.

Cam’ron and Mase, It Is What It Is Podcast Co-Hosts

(Cover photo: Cam’ron and Mase/Photo Courtesy of Kate Frese/NBAE via Getty Images)

The duo is known for hilarious sports commentary on their entertaining show.


Shaquille O’Neal, Inside the NBA Analyst, The Big Podcast with Shaq Host

(Cover photo: Shaquille O’Neal/Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock)

O’Neal is known for being a whopping 7-foot-1, but he’s also known for his blunt NBA analysis that keeps viewers entertained.

Charles Barkley, Inside the NBA, CBS Sports Analyst

(Cover photo: Charles Barkley/Photo Courtesy of Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Barkley is a popular sports analyst, considering the fact that he’s won four Emmys as an Outstanding Studio Analyst.

Stephen A. Smith, First TakeThe Stephen A. Smith ShowNBA Countdown Personality

(Cover photo: Stephen A. Smith/Photo Courtesy of Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Smith has many claims to fame, most notably being considered one of the leaders of the sports debate show formats.


Shannon Sharpe, First Take Personality, Club Shay Shay Podcast Host, Nightcap with Unc and Ocho Podcast Co-Host

(Cover photo: Shannon Sharpe/Photo Courtesy of Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM )

Sharpe tops Complex’s list — and for good reason. “Shay Shay” is known for his insightful analysis, charismatic delivery, and his ability to provide a unique perspective on various aspects of the sports world.

Cover photo: Shannon Sharpe, Stephen A. Smith, and Charles Barkley Named Top 25 Sports Personalities by Complex Sports/Photo by Gabe Conte/Getty Images/Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images/Richard Shotwell/Invision


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