Having napalmed all ties between his Philly self and Bristol, CT, journalist/yackmeister Stephen A. Smith (shown above, right, with Tommy Hearns) has returned to the public eye of late and the Sporting Blog’s Dan Levy suggests the former “Quite Frankly” host has bigger fish to fry than mere sports commentary.

After starting that uStream channel during the NBA playoffs that got a smattering of viewers, SAS took to the fast-paced world of podcasts, and immediately used his name and ESPN notoriety to shoot himself to the top of the charts on iTunes. Oh yes, and he joined Twitter, famously calling out nearly everyone of color for not supporting Quite Frankly. It seemed insane at the time, but maybe it was foreshadowing. Could Stephen A. Smith be the next Al Sharpton, without the religious leanings? Could Smith be the next great political pundit who uses his verbose dialog and pastoral cadence to both galvanize and polarize the nation whenever the issue of race comes up?

Quite frankly, it™s possible.

At least MSNBC thinks so. The Place For Politics has featured Smith throughout their coverage of the Michael Jackson death and subsequent funeral. Smith was on the network three times Tuesday alone. And that™s after he was on a panel earlier in the week to discuss the job Barack Obama is doing in the black community.

Forget about the top black voice in sports. Leave that job for Jason Whitlock or William Rhoden or Wilbon or the more-poignant-than-ever memory of Ralph Wiley. Stephen A. Smith might be angling to become the top black voice in America. And if you™ve gotten as far as Smith has on style over substance, why stop at ESPN or the occasional guest spot on cable news? Having seemingly burned all bridges in sports, could Smith, who was featured on CNN during the election as well, be shifting away from the basketball arena and into the political one?

These are things I would have loved to ask Smith. But when I reached out to his assistant with the understanding that I was writing a story on Smith for this very site, I was told, “Presently, Stephen is not available for comment regarding his career. Thank you for the follow up inquiry”