HoopsHype Media rumors

January 26, 2015 Updates

As far as I know, the only media member to suggest the hot seat theory in writing was Chris Sheridan of Sheridanhoops.com, a national NBA site. Van Gundy seems to believe Bulls management promoted this idea behind the scenes, but let's let JVG speak for himself. “He has done such a good job here," Van Gundy said during the broadcast. "First two years had the best record in the league. Unfortunately, these last three playoffs have been disrupted by injury. But he came to the Bulls at a time where mediocrity reigned. They had struggled for a long time, they were basically a .500 team. Along with the emergence of some players, he's taken it to elite status. “I think right now, it's almost criminal … what he's having to endure with some of the fringe media – attacking his job status, attacking his personality. This isn't new to Chicago Bulls basketball, all the way back to Phil Jackson. The team has publicly supported their coach while privately, often times, undermining that same person. You saw it with Vinny Del Negro, Scott Skiles. Think about it, they ran out Phil Jackson out after winning all those championships. “I think it's wrong. It's wrong for the town, wrong for the team and it certainly has not been fair to Tom Thibodeau." Arlington Heights Daily Herald

Van Gundy went on to spread his criticism to the Chicago media. “Listen, I read every Chicago story and there is no doubt that the Bulls organization has the media, with a few exceptions, in their hip pocket," he said. "And for whatever reason, they have taken their sights on Thibodeau when all he's done is deliver greatness here in his five years." Arlington Heights Daily Herald

After reviewing the post on Reddit today, we have found that changes were made manually to Chad Ford’s NBA Draft prospects rankings. We have not been able to determine who made the changes, or when. We have talked to Chad Ford, who strongly denies any involvement, and based on his past work and professionalism, we believe him. Our review will continue but it is unclear at this time if we will be able to ascertain who was responsible. ESPN.com

January 25, 2015 Updates
January 24, 2015 Updates

Barkley recently made an appearance on The Beast 980 and the topic of Kobe Bryant and the Lakers struggling came up. The former NBA MVP believes the Lakers really mismanaged how they handled Kobe and thinks the team’s game plan really didn’t make sense: I think the Lakers should have come in with a game plan. “Listen, we’re not going to be any good. Let’s try to get some young players and see who we got going forward. Kobe, you’re kind of a mentor. You’re going to play 25-30 minutes a night. At some point this season, you’re going to pass Michael Jordan. There’s no need to play you 38 minutes. We’re not going to be better. We’re not going to make the playoffs.” They should have had that gameplan from the beginning. In the beginning, he was playing 40 minutes in a couple games, which is just stupid. Lakers Nation

Michael Lee: Russell Westbrook didn't talk after OKC lost to #hawks. This exchange with Serge Ibaka was intense. vine.co/v/OIE77aLXpOg Twitter @MrMichaelLee

January 21, 2015 Updates

Ernie Johnson had a bit of fun with Thunder guard Russell Westbrook on Tuesday night. After the Oklahoma City player answered reporters with simple sentences about "execution" a few days ago, Johnson decided to return the favor during an interview on NBATV. "Another really quick thing here, Russ," said Johnson. "How was the execution tonight?" The question resulted in laughs from both Westbrook and the rest of the NBATV crew. Sporting News

That much was obvious this season after the team's 76-year-old broadcaster was struck with excruciating abdominal pains while walking out of the team hotel in Charlotte, N.C. He worked that night's entire game while his body was attempting, and wretchedly failing, to pass a kidney stone. He heaved during the producer's final pregame countdown, swallowed two doses of pain pills during the telecast, but still finished strong. The stone was so big, it later required surgical removal that caused him to actually miss a game. "My father was a showman who always preached, 'The show must go on,' '' Lawler said. "I live by those words.'' Los Angeles Times

He slurred some more words at the end of the game, but a battery of ensuing tests cleared him of any neurological issues, so he figures the whole thing was just some weird remnant of a previous night's food poisoning. "I'm like, 'Ralph, you're like a machine, how do you keep doing this?' " said his longtime partner Michael Smith. "Yeah, sure, I worry about him, but he just always finds a way.'' Los Angeles Times

It is a love that was momentarily drained from his life in 2009 when he and Smith were suspended for one game for mispronouncing "Iran'' while describing Memphis center Hamed Haddadi. They called it, ''Eye-ran,'' resulting in one angry email from a season-ticket holder that led to Fox officials to controversially bench the duo. "It was terribly unfair, and I am angry about it to this day,'' said Lawler. "I didn't say one word that could remotely be called racist. Listen to the tape, read the transcript, not one word, being a racist is so far from who I am." Los Angeles Times

January 20, 2015 Updates
January 19, 2015 Updates

If Charles Barkley is serious about leaving sports broadcasting when his current contract with Turner Sports expires in 2016 (the prediction in this space is that he will ultimately end up extending his stay with Turner) the network needs to think about a succession plan. The truth is no one can replace Barkley, the most impactful and valuable studio analyst on sports television today. But there is a name out there who could have a Barkley-like impact on an NBA studio show or remote broadcast if he has interest in broadcasting as a post-NBA career. His name is Kobe Bryant. Sports Illustrated

"If he chose to do it he'd be incredible," said ESPN Los Angeles senior writer Ramona Shelburne, who has covered the Lakers since 2003. "He's sarcastic, smart, insightful, fearless. Think the player version of Jeff Van Gundy. I'm not sure he's fun enough for the typical NBA pre and postgame show. The guys that thrive there are the ones who always sat around in a locker room after a game, BS-ing with other players and reporters or coaches. I've seen Kobe do that from time to time, but only when he's soaking his feet in an ice bucket. The rest of the time, he's all business … He is singularly focused on basketball." Sports Illustrated

ESPN NBA host Sage Steele sees the fit. "He's got the resume, the look, he's got the ability to properly articulate his thoughts, and so much more," Steele said. "But most of all, he isn't afraid to give his opinion. So many broadcasters in every sport have awesome insight and strong opinions but once that red light turns on, they are too worried about what their peers who are still in the game will think if they hear it. Will Kobe want to work hard enough to be a genuinely good television analyst? It isn't easy. It takes a lot of hard work to stay up on every aspect of the game. So could he be great? Absolutely." Sports Illustrated

Bryant has not discussed any post-career plans publicly and on Sunday he declined comment to SI for this piece via a Lakers spokesperson. But those close to him say he is far more likely to head into business rather than broadcasting or the business of basketball. Sports Illustrated

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