Inquirer columnist Stephen A. Smith is due to resume his career as a reporter, where he made his name as a beat writer for the Sixers and the NBA.

Inquirer editor William K. Marimow said this morning:

"Stephen A. Smith is an excellent reporter. He's got a huge reservoir of sources in the sports world, and we want him to return to reporting."

Marimow declined further comment.

Online reports say the paper is waiting for Smith, who is on vacation, to accept the reassignment.

Calls to Smith have yet to be returned.

Smith's column, which he began writing in 2003, last appeared on Friday, when he asserted that the Phillies were in better shape than the Mets.

Smith, 40, rose from being The Inquirer's Sixers beat reporter to national prominence, frequently appearing as a guest analyst on local and national radio and TV.

He joined ESPN in 2005, while continuing to write his column. From August 2005 to January 2007, he had his own late-night TV sports-talk show, Quite Frankly With Stephen A. Smith.

In 2005, USA Today wrote that "Stephen A. Smith, through TV, is becoming a brand," and Slate.com called him "the hardest-working man in sports show business."

Earlier this year, he was on the TV soap opera General Hospital and in the Chris Rock movie I Think I Love My Wife.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.