Max Kellerman: Life, Career, Interesting Facts

Max Kellerman

Max Kellerman is a famous American sports media personality who is well known and revered as a boxing commentator as well. Max Kellerman is best known as one of the analysts along with Stephen A Smith on ESPN First Take. The popular sports talk show is hosted by Molly Qerim (with Charly Arnolt serving as a frequent guest host). The show mainly focuses on the NBA and NFL. Max Kellerman also hosts Max on Boxing on ESPN. Max Kellerman is very well known for his affinity towards the usage of sabermetrics, the empirical analysis of baseball statistics to collect, summarize, and measure relevant in-game activities data. Max Kellerman, who always comes off as a highly intellectual analyst, comes from a family of thinkers, talkers, and achievers. Max Kellerman is also an avid hip-hop fan. He is very famous for quoting a lot of rap lyrics during his takes. Max Kellerman and his brother Sam Kellerman were signed with Columbia Records in 1994 and Max Kellerman rapped on the record. Max Kellerman’s passion for music, literature, and boxing have melded together to create a particularly insightful sports commentator. Because of his vast knowledge in different fields and his incredible vocabulary, Max Kellerman has also been given the nickname of “Thesaurus” by fans. Let’s find out more about Max Kellerman.

Max Kellerman: All You Need to Know

When was Max Kellerman born?

Max Kellerman was born on August 6th, 1973 in The Bronx. However, he mainly grew up in the Greenwich Village area of New York City.

Where did Max Kellerman study?

Max Kellerman graduated from New York City’s PS 41 in Greenwich Village, Hunter College High School in 1991. After graduating from high school, Max Kellerman enrolled at Columbia University. Max Kellerman ended up needing seven years to finish college and eventually graduated in 1998. After graduating, he looked at his friends who had built successful careers and started imitating what they did. One of the things that he did was “make 50 resumes, send it to 50 companies and make 50 follow up calls.”

Who is Max Kellerman married to?

Max Kellerman is married to Erin Kellerman (nee Manning). The couple has three daughters together. Esther, Sam (named after Max’s late brother), and Mira.

What is Max Kellerman’s full name?

Most people assume that Max Kellerman’s first name, “Max” is a shortened version of Maximilian or some other name like that (Stephen A Smith refers to him as Maximilian on quite a few occasions on First Take). However, he has clarified that “Max” is not a shortened version of anything and that’s his actual first name. Max Kellerman also went on to add that he doesn’t have a middle name which is highly unusual in America. 

Is Max Kellerman Jewish?

Yes, Max Kellerman is a practicing but secular Jew. Max Kellerman is an active member of the Jewish community and is involved with various Jewish cultural activities. Based on reports published in the Yiddish Book Center and The Forward, Max Kellerman speaks Yiddish fluently.

Is Max Kellerman a hip hop fan?

Max Kellerman loves hip hop. He grew up in The Bronx and that place was the hub of East Coast hip hop. He frequently cites some of the biggest East Coast hip hop artists such as Notorious B.I.G., Nas and Wu-Tang Clan as his favourites. He even sang a Notorious B.I.G. hook during a segment on First Take.

Max Kellerman also stated that Raekwon’s  Only Built 4 Cuban Linx… is one of his favorite albums. In the 90s, Max Kellerman was also a part of a hip hop group with his brother Sam, under the name “Max and Sam”. It wasn’t just a basement hip hop group of brothers recording low quality stuff. Max and Sam were serious and they were even signed by Columbia Records and even recorded a music video for their biggest hit “Young Man Rumble”.

What’s Max Kellerman’s net worth?

Max Kellerman’s net worth as of 2020 is estimated to be around $6 million. He earns his money through his jobs as an analyst and boxing broadcaster. He even had a cameo in the 2015 American sports drama film Creed. He appeared as a boxing broadcaster.

Max Kellerman: Best Quotes

In America, as was the topic earlier about polygamy, consenting adults are supposed to do – be able to do whatever they want to each other… whether it’s marrying multiple partners, marrying someone of the same sex, prostitution, marijuana. As long as you’re not hurting anyone else, it’s really none of the government’s business.

It was a sucker punch. But you know who gets hit by sucker punches? Suckers.

What’s a domestic partnership? Domestic partnership is not even a marriage, and there’s a contract that involves, potentially, sexual and financial commitments to each other. In this case, however, the guy is also charging one dollar, and that is his undoing.

A piece of art – this goes for a painting or a sculpture or a book or whatever – really shouldn’t have to do with the set of expectations that the viewer or the audience or the reader brings to that work. It should just have to do with how they interpret it and whether they like it or not.

Max Kellerman: Interesting Facts

Max Kellerman started his career on Public Access TV

He was right out of college, and he’s the first to mention that he “took seven years to get ‘outta’ college.” He’s quick to quip that “lots of guys take seven years to get out of college- they’re called doctors.” His first job was ESPN right out of school; doing Friday night fights. He said that as he was graduating school, he looked around at his friends from New York and realized that he had friends in every different career imaginable. He looked at the ones who were successful, and he analyzed what they did. He decided the successful ones were the ones who sent out 50 resumes, followed by 50 letters, 50 phone calls, and they took their job hunts seriously. He was doing the public access show at the time and figured that he should do the same. His three younger brothers, Sam, Harry, and Jack helped him put together a press kit and promotional video for a potential “Max on Boxing” show. He sent these out to a lot of spots, and very quickly, he had an offer from ESPN.

Max Kellerman met Steve Lott on the streets of New York

Max was on his way to a screening of the RFK documentary that Jack Newfield had made. Steve Lott told Max that Friday Night Fights was up for relaunch, and that the production was ready for a new voice. Lott asked Max if he had a tape. Max had the promotional materials his brothers made with him, and he promised to send it to Lott. Once the materials arrived, ESPN sent Max Kellerman to audition, and that’s how he ended up with Friday Night Fights. He rose up the ranks very quickly and became one of the most respected boxing analysts despite his young age. 

Max Kellerman’s brother was murdered

He said that it’s a terrible club to be in along with others who have lost siblings. He said that everyone who loses one’s closest family member, or anyone in the family first faces what he terms subjective loss. But he said there is also objective loss. He viewed his brother Sam as a genius and they were always together. His brother was killed by James Butler, a former boxer and manic-depressive nicked-named The Hammer. Butler used a hammer to pound Sam’s head 32 times. The saddest thing is that Sam was trying to help Butler. Butler had even been part of the cast in Max and Sam’s rap video “Young Man Rumble”. Max Kellerman said nothing will erase his memories of Sam, and it took him 5 years before he could function like a regular human being. Even a decade or more later, he still struggles with the loss. Sam Kellerman was born on November 24th, 1974, 15 months after Max Kellerman, the second of the four brothers of the Kellerman family. Sam Kellerman always showed promise as a writer and at a very young age, wrote a play called The Man Who Hated Shakespeare and hosted a public-access cable-television show. In a tragic turn of events, Sam Kellerman’s body was found inside his apartment in the 1400 block of Vista Street in Los Angeles on October 17th, 2004. In the ensuing investigation, James Butler confessed to the crime and was sentenced to 29 years in prison.

At the time of his murder, Sam Kellerman was only 29 years old. This is what Max Kellerman said about his brother:

“[Sam] was a creative genius… He was the best writer for his age I’ve ever read. I used to tell him, ‘I’ll always be able to get someone to pay me for talking, and you’ll always be able to get someone to pay you for writing.’ When it came to writing, I felt like Salieri to Sam’s Mozart. Sam wanted to direct film, but I think he was fated to write and be in front of the camera. He was starting to get work as an actor. He was in several national commercials. And acting wasn’t even what he did best. Sam was a sure thing. It was just a matter of time before he made it big.”

Max Kellerman was suspended by ESPN for domestic violence

The suspension took place after he admitted that he had hit his wife. It happened before they were married and at a college party. She slapped him and he slapped her back. His co-host Stephen A. Smith was also suspended for a time after he made remarks about domestic violence.

Max Kellerman’s children are the most important things for him

Interviewing on Hot 97, he talked about the complexity of his schedule, which involved juggling three jobs as a sports commentator. It was 2016 and he was involved with HBO Boxing, the daily ESPN TV show, and the daily ESPN radio show. He said it was tough being married with three kids and pairing that with his three-show career. He said he loved his wife dearly and that she felt the same way about their focus on their three children. His wife sent him a video of his youngest child, Mira, walking for the first time. Mira was about 1 year old at the time, and Max had to content himself with seeing a video of the cherished event because he was on the road with his work. His children were 7, 4, and 1 that year. The oldest kids were already in school, but he wasn’t at home from 8:30 to 7:30 every day, and that made it difficult to connect with his children.

Max Kellerman practices pilates to overcome his back issues

As a middle-aged man, aged 42, he said that he was “at the beginning of old”. He didn’t consider himself to be in the 30s “sweet spot” but emerging into the more difficult part of mid life.

Max Kellerman scarred his mouth after biting off a clock wire and electrocuting his lips

Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Max Kellerman talked about the scar on his mouth. He said that it was a result of following around an electrical outlet. He and his brother Sam were playing Batman and Robin. They started the game when Max was three and Sam was two. They played the Dynamic Duo for years. The clock was their father’s gift to their mother. Max, as Batman, convinced Sam, as Robin, that the clock was the enemy. Max convinced Sam to bite the wire first, but nothing happened until Max bit it, too. The wire zapped Max’s skin, and he needed three surgeries to separate the left side of his lips. Max Kellerman confirmed this incident on his radio show as well.

Max Kellerman received his first boxing lesson at the age of eight

The pair had watched Muhammad Ali on TV one night and Max had recited Ali’s poetry. His lessons didn’t last long, however, because his mother and grandmother took him out of lessons one year later when Boom Boom Mancini killed Duk Koo Kim on national TV.

Max on Boxing was a phenomenon even before the big networks picked it up

When his own boxing lessons ended, Max satisfied his passion for boxing by learning everything about it that he could. His father took him to the Manhattan Neighborhood Network studio and paid for a half-hour recording slot. His first studio session was a hit, as people from all over phoned the studio. Max’s weekly show, Max on Boxing, lasted for nine years. He was invited to be on the David Letterman Show, and Dustin Hoffman invited him to his home for dinner.

Max Kellerman credits Yiddish as the core of his life as a secular Jew

He said that Yiddish was the tradition most important to his Bubba, his father, and therefore, to him in terms of how he wants his children to be like him in some way is to carry on the tradition of Yiddish. While the issue of Jewish identity is nebulous, he said that Yiddish is an experience of tradition that comes before you and which you can carry on in some way is Yiddish. He said that it is at the core of Jewish identity, regardless of which Jewish community you belong to. Max was interviewed as part of the Wexler Oral History Project with the Yiddish Book Center when he discussed what it meant to him to grow up in a home that was conservative, committed to leftist causes, and focused on transmitting the values which secular Jews share through generations in their families.

Max Kellerman had a rap career

Before he became well known for his eloquently worded takes on sports, Max Kellerman was in a rap group with his brother Sam Kellerman. The group’s name was Max and Sam. The group shot a music video for its biggest hit, Young Man Rumble in 1994.

Max Kellerman is a proponent of sabermetrics

Max Kellerman has expressed his support of sabermetrics on numerous occasions. Sabermetrics or SABRmetrics is the empirical analysis of baseball, especially baseball statistics that measure in-game activity. Sabermetricians collect and summarize the relevant data from this in-game activity to answer specific questions. The term is derived from the acronym SABR, which stands for the Society for American Baseball Research, founded in 1971.

Max Kellerman isn’t a supporter of MLB’s steroid era

Max Kellerman said that the single season home run record should be returned to Roger Maris who hit 61 of them. The reason behind that is the fact that hitters like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire were on steroids when they had their record setting seasons.

Max Kellerman supports the Ring Magazine’s championship rankings

Max Kellerman is a strong proponent of using the Ring Magazine championship rankings exclusively. He has opposed magazines of other boxing sanctioning organizations because of their corruption. To avoid financial conflicts, Max Kellerman used euphemisms to name drop The Ring magazine while broadcasting for HBO. He would use the term “the true world champion” to describe the fighter who held The Ring Magazine Championship.

Max Kellerman believes that Roy Jones Jr. is the greatest pound for pound fighter ever

Among his all-time favorite fighters are Pernell Whitaker, Jerry Quarry, Willie Pep, and Roy Jones Junior. Max Kellerman spoke about Roy Jones Jr. in glowing terms and said that he was the greatest fighter he ever saw in his life and won titles in different weight classes.

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