For the first time in 35 seasons, the Warriors will have a new color commentator on the TV side. Kelenna Azubuike will replace Jim Barnett on the team’s NBC Sports Bay Area broadcasts, with Barnett calling games on the radio with Tim Roye. According to a team press release, Azubuike will work alongside Bob Fitzgerald, who in a few months will enter his 23rd season as the team’s TV play-by-play announcer.
After a frenetic NBA free agency period, Zach Lowe has a deal of his own coming up with ESPN relatively soon, The Big Lead has learned. Sources indicate that ESPN decision-makers feel very strongly about keeping Lowe, who writes, hosts a popular podcast, and appears up and down their television dial on shows like Get Up, The Jump, and player movement analysis specials with Adrian Wojnarowski.
WNBA player Candace Parker’s contract with Turner Sports has expired and ESPN is showing interest in signing her as an analyst, The Big Lead has learned from multiple people with knowledge of the situation. Parker has impressed during her time with Turner and there could be a bidding war. Turner is hoping to keep her at the network and plans to be aggressive in their approach. Parker has served as both and an analyst and commentator for the NBA on TNT, NBA TV, and Turner/CBS coverage of March Madness.
Former Wizards Drew Gooden and Caron Butler are expected to share the TV analyst role alongside Kutcher, with Gooden calling a majority of the games. The analyst position became available when Kara Lawson, who served as Buckhantz’s broadcast partner for the past two seasons after she replaced Phil Chenier, was hired as an assistant coach by the Boston Celtics last month.
Brian Sieman is close to finalizing a deal to become the new television voice of the Clippers, succeeding the soon-to-be Hall of Famer Ralph Lawler in the play-by-play role, The Times has learned. With Sieman set to leave the team’s radio broadcast for television, the Clippers will hire Noah Eagle as his replacement on radio, according to a person with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The rest of the broadcast crew, including the analyst role on the team’s Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket television broadcasts, has yet to be completed, the person said.
Ralph Lawler: I could not ne happier! He was my First and Only choice. It makes me much more comfortable in retirement knowing my old job is in Brian’s more than capable hands. Congrats @bsieman ! Congrats Clipper Nation!
After months of searching, NBC Sports Washington is making progress on finding Steve Buckhantz’s replacement. Fox’s Justin Kutcher has emerged as the leading candidate to be the next play-by-play voice of the Wizards, according to sources with knowledge of the hiring process. Kutcher, a Connecticut native, has worked for Fox since 2012 and has called college football, college hoops and MLB games during his time there. He first came to D.C. to interview and audition for the job in early May, according to a source.
Kristian Winfield: Hey guys, I have some personal news: This will be my last week at SB Nation. Starting July 1, I'll be stepping in as a Senior NBA Journalist with @NYDailyNews / @NYDNSports
Diamond Leung: Happy to announce that I'll serve as managing editor of @TheAthleticBIZ, joining a great team at our new sports business, media and law vertical. Follow us and subscribe! theathletic.com/1022153/2019/0…
Fox Sports has signed Chris Haynes, Ric Bucher, Matt Barnes, and Cuttino Mobley to bolster their FS1 NBA coverage, a spokesperson has confirmed to The Big Lead. They will all be apart of non-exclusive deals with the network. With the NBA playoffs just days away, the four will be seen across FS1’s daily studio shows and Fox Sports’ digital platforms, but will not just be limited to appearances during the NBA’s postseason.
The Los Angeles Times has named Arash Markazi Sports Enterprise Reporter and Page 2 Columnist, reporting to Assistant Managing Editor for Sports, Angel Rodriguez. “Like everything else in our society, the digital revolution has had a profound influence on sports,” said Times Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine. “We’re excited to have Arash on board to help us launch coverage of widely popular and emerging trends in sports, ranging from multiplayer gaming competitions to the legalization of sports betting.”
Arash Markazi: LIFE UPDATE: After nine amazing years at ESPN I've decided to take the job I dreamed about having as a kid. I'm going to be a sports columnist at the Los Angeles Times! I will also be covering emerging trends in sports. I can't tell you how excited I am for this opportunity.
Stephanie Ready: Good morning! I am thrilled to announce that I will be joining The Turner Sports Family this month! I’ll be partnered w/ @ripcityhamilton for the rest of the @nba season including playoffs, broadcasting @NBAonTNT VR! Join in on the fun!🏀😍
John Karalis: I'm thrilled to be joining MassLive as a full-time Celtics beat writer. It's an exciting time, and I'm looking forward to becoming the Celtics beat's John Tyler, in that I'm sure to soon alienate everyone and fade into obscurity, and my predecessor was only around for a month
Jared Weiss: Excited to announce I’m joining the @bballbreakdown pod every week this season to debate shooting mechanics and maybe other NBA musings if Coach Nick & I have time. Today, I take us deep into the Fultz nerve injury & we examine the Hoiberg firing: itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bba…
ESPN is letting sports business reporter and social media provocateur Darren Rovell out of his contract early to join the upstart gambling platform The Action Network, sources told The Post. Rovell’s contract with ESPN is not up until the summer, however the network plans to let Rovell leave early. Rovell’s Action Network contract has not been signed yet, though he is expected to start there relatively soon. Sources said that Rovell will focus on sports gambling, which is now legal in his home state of New Jersey. He will also have a management role in which he will have a voice in new ideas for the group.
A source said he will still keep his hands on the sports business world. However, his focus will be more on gambling, where he might be able to delve a little deeper than he would at the Disney-owned ESPN.
Chris Haynes is building an NBA reporting team to be reckoned with at Yahoo Sports. Haynes, Yahoo's newly hired senior NBA Insider and editor-in-chief Johnny Ludden are finalizing a deal with up and comer Seerat Sohi of SB Nation, sources tell Sporting News. If Sohi does jump to jump Yahoo, she's expected to cover the NBA from her native Canada.
Chris Mannix: Since Twitter is the new NBA media transaction wire: After three great years at @YahooSports, I'm returning to Sports Illustrated. Thanks to Johnny Ludden, @JGuitarza and the entire Y! edit and video teams. Terrific talents, even better people.
After a 17-season career that began with the Nets in 2001, Jefferson is launching his broadcasting career with the YES Network this season, working primarily as a game analyst. "I've been doing little different things" said Jefferson. "I've done podcasts. I've done some radio stuff. But I'd never called a game before, and when the Nets signed me I really thought I'd be in studio more than games, and (YES producer) Frank (DiGraci) had a different idea."
What has it been like working at The Athletic vs more traditional outlets? Sam Amick: I've enjoyed it a great deal, and it only gets better now that I'm starting to figure out how our readers are different - i.e. more demanding, in a good way - than the mainstream audience. It had been a few years since writing for the most passionate fans was the top priority, and that part has been fantastic. I love the direct relationship with the reader. It's more akin to my time covering the Kings at The Sacramento Bee again.
I was hardly alone on this front, too. My friend and colleague, Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post, lives in the Bay Area now but is headed to an East Coast-based ESPN job soon. As he watched Curry go bonkers, he made a comment amid all the madness that underscored this truth.
House of Highlights’ Omar Raja is getting his own talk show. Turner’s Bleacher Report, which bought House of Highlights Instagram in 2015, is producing a monthly live talk show for Twitter. Premiering on Oct. 25, “The House of Highlights Show” will run about 75 minutes per episode and will be co-hosted by CJ Toledano, a creative director on Bleacher Report’s social content team and former writer for Conan O’Brien’s late-night show.
Tom Haberstroh: Today I begin my new job as NBC Sports’ national NBA Insider — TV, writing, dig video and podcasts. Tonight I’m at MIA@WAS doing pregame, midgame (!) and postgame TV broadcast with the crew. GSW, BOS, PHI, POR, CHI and SAC spots to come in next 2 weeks ... cue John Tesh ...
Bill Doyle: Congrats Baxter Holmes, former Globe Celtics writer. ESPN announced it has reached a multi-year extension with the senior national NBA writer. @Baxter Holmes will continue to write NBA feature stories for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine.
Cayleigh Griffin: Someone always has to have a last minute roster addition... THRILLED to be joining @FOXSportsOH and the @Cavs as a host & reporter! Excited for this new journey in Cleveland and can’t wait to get to work! #BeTheFight
Michael Lee: My time at Yahoo produced some valuable lessons for which I’m grateful and I know I’m better for the experience. I also know that I’m more determined to thrive here at The Athletic, where finding great stories is not only encouraged but expected. Throughout my recruitment process, the editors and writers with whom I spoke shared how much they enjoy the working environment at The Athletic. More than once, I heard, “This is the best job I’ve ever had.”
Yahoo was where you really made your name. Both emotionally and professionally, can you talk about everything that went into the decision to move to The Athletic, and what led up to it? Shams Charania: I’ve always tried to be so focused on the work, so it was definitely interesting in talking to Yahoo and everyone else that became involved in the process. But just throughout it all, I got the best sense from The Athletic and Stadium about their hunger and their desire to cover the league at a really high level. Both platforms are really developing and growing, and I see myself the same way. I'm still developing. I'm still growing. So to be able to involve myself with that made all the sense in the world.
Anthony Puccio: YES confirms that Richard Jefferson will join the network. He will start as a studio analyst on Wednesday. @NetsOnYES
If contributing to Turner Sports' NCAA men's basketball tournament coverage in March was an audition, two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker passed. Turner announced Wednesday that Parker has agreed to serve as an analyst and commentator for the NBA on TNT and NBA TV throughout the season in addition to reprising her studio role during the Turner/CBS coverage of March Madness.
Ben Rohrbach: Here goes: Starting today, I am moving into the lead @YahooSportsNBA blogging role vacated by @YourManDevine’s move to the @ringer, and I can’t wait to get started. First and foremost, I want to thank Dan for his guidance these last five years.
Vincent Goodwill: As a few of you have heard, I'm moving onto the wonderful team at @YahooSports to cover the NBA...looking forward to the opportunity, the stories we can tell and the unique perspectives we can provide
Eric Nehm: I'm incredibly excited to announce I'm joining the @TheAthleticWISC. If you're interested, here is a special promo link for 30% off: http://theathletic.com/nbaexpansion . And yes, I mentioned Johnny O'Bryant in my introductory article. Shooters shoot, man.
Omari Sankofa II: Some news: Next week will be my final week at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. I'm excited to announce I will soon be joining @TheAthleticNBA as the Memphis Grizzlies beat writer, starting Oct. 29. Subscribe using this link to get 30% percent off: http://theathletic.com/nbaexpansion
Josh Robbins: In 1997, years after becoming a successful lawyer, Jeff took his motorcycle out on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Maryland and crashed. Alcohol wasn’t involved. He just lost control of his Harley. He died that night. He was 33 years old. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I try not to think about him much. Please don’t misunderstand me; I love him and would do anything to bring him back. But I still feel angry about his death, about how he should have lived another 50 years, about the hell he put our parents, our older brother, Jon, and me through. What a senseless loss.
Josh Robbins: I was 23 when he died. At the time, I was working at a think tank in D.C. and studying to take the LSAT. Going to law school was the safe thing to do. But Jeff’s death made me reevaluate everything, including my career choice. Becoming an attorney didn’t excite me. Becoming a journalist did. If life can be so short, as Jeff’s was, I figured I should spend it doing something I regarded as special. So I tried. I scrapped my law school plans and instead went to journalism school. I eventually landed at a great outlet, the Orlando Sentinel, surrounded by reporters and editors who mentored me.
Vincent Goodwill is leaving NBC Sports Chicago for Yahoo Sports, The Big Lead has learned from a person with knowledge of the news.
Goodwill has covered the Bulls for the NBC regional network since 2015, and before that he was on the Pistons beat for the Detroit News. At Yahoo, he will be covering the NBA from a national perspective, and be based in New York. He is a multi-platform talent, with the ability to write and do audio and video.
Jeffrey Goldberg: I'm very pleased to announce that the great @jemelehill is joining @TheAtlantic as a staff writer. She'll be covering the intersection of sports, race, politics, gender, and culture for us. Welcome, Jemele.
Dan Devine: Nine years after my first freelance post, and 6.5 years after going full-time, today's my last day at @YahooSportsNBA. I'm excited to announce that on Oct. 10, I join @ringer as a staff writer on the NBA. That's the news. There's a lot more, though:
Stan Van Gundy is going from ripping ESPN to joining it. Van Gundy, who threatened to boycott the network last season, will be a studio analyst across the network’s array of shows, sources have told The Post.
Joe Vardon: Hey everyone. I’m thrilled to announce my friend @Chris Fedor is the new Cavs beat writer for @clevelanddotcom and the PD. He’s going to be great
Sam Amick: Anyone who has started a new job knows that the well wishes are one of the highlights. Congrats! Best of luck! You’ll kill it! But on the night of September 6th, as I was making the transition from USA TODAY Sports to The Athletic and word was starting to spread throughout our industry, there was one text message that stood out among the rest. “Word on the street (is) you headed to The Athletic… my sources have alerted me,” it read.
After cheekily acknowledging Turner’s tweet, NBC Sports Boston confirmed Monday afternoon that Forsberg was joining the network to continue to report on the Celtics. Coming on the verge of Celtics media day and as The Athletic announced a major expansion of their NBA reporting team, Forsberg’s move to NBC Sports Boston was in itself somewhat of a surprise.
But there was also this, a rambling and angry internal email Cleveland.com editor Chris Quinn sent to his employees on Saturday, Sept.15, on the topic of The Athletic, which seems like one of those emails you should leave in the drafts folder for a day or two and then delete after you've cooled down. Enjoy [sic]: I want to say a word about The Athletic, which suddenly seems frantic to raid our staff because of its inability to groom talented sportswriters on its own. Most of you know Joe Vardon is headed there, and they do not appear to be finished in their recruiting efforts. This has the feeling of desperation to me. As I’ve mentioned since this thing started, it’s financial model is not sound. In the print days, the Daily tried it. In the digital era, Patch tried it. Each time someone tries it, an investor kicks in a huge amount of money to get the thing launched but because the financial model is so unsound, it always fails. If you could sustain an experienced staff on digital subscription revenue alone, we’d have gone that way a long time ago. To produce the kind of content we produce takes more than digital subscribers.
As the Athletic makes this sprint to hire away the best sportswriters in the land, I worry about how lives will be affected. Their recruiting effort is rushed. You get a couple of days to decide and then the offer is gone. The pressure is intense. Think about that. What responsible employer does that? When we recruit, we give people all the time they need to work out the details and consider how a job change might affect their lives and their families. Our intention is to build a lasting relationship, and you don’t do that with a breathless offer that forces people into a corner. Doing what the Athletic does is desperate and uncaring.
Malika Andrews is nearing a deal to leave the Chicago Tribune for ESPN, The Big Lead has learned from a person with knowledge of the news. The plan is for her to cover the midwestern NBA beat, rotating between teams including the Bulls, Bucks, and Timberwolves.
Nick Friedell, who covered this beat last season, is getting promoted to the Warriors beat. Neither of their contracts are finalized but all indications are they’re heading in that direction, per the source.
Jordan Schultz: I am both thrilled and honored to join ESPN as an insider/analyst. I will also be fulfilling the role of correspondent for new ESPN+ show, The Boardroom, in collaboration w/EPs Kevin Durant (@Kevin Durant) and @richkleiman's Thirty Five Media, w/host @RealJayWilliams. More to come… pic.twitter.com/zB7HGiIjIH
CJ McCollum: New deal 🚨 My @PullUpPod co-host Jordan Schultz @Jordan Schultz has reached an agreement w/@espn as an insider/analyst. Will also serve as the correspondent of new ESPN+ show, “The Boardroom,” in collab w/EP’s Kevin Durant/Rich Kleiman’s Thirty Five Media, hosted by Jay Williams
Tony Jones: With The Athletic, my day-to-day duties won’t be dissimilar to my previous responsibilities with The Salt Lake Tribune. I will cover the Utah Jazz and the NBA like a blanket. I will take you inside a team at an exciting time, a time where the Jazz are expected to be one of the best teams in the Western Conference. A time where the Jazz boast the likes of star guard Donovan Mitchell, and star center Rudy Gobert, who is the NBA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year.
Jabari Young: For me, it came down to getting past fear of failure and fear of success. I did thanks to family, friends and colleagues. And here is why I’m joining @TheAthletic as the new #Spurs beat writer for the new @TheAthleticNBA team 💯🙏🏿 theathletic.com/540939/
Sam Amick: Tom Negrete was right. The spectacled sports editor who let me make late-night food runs for copy editors at The Sacramento Bee as a part-time clerk in 1998, who helped me land a full-time writing gig there after I graduated from nearby Sacramento State two years later, taught me a lesson in 2004 that had everything to do with my decision to join The Athletic. The storytelling, as Negrete told me then, is what matters most.
Jason Quick: But to be honest, I nearly walked away from the profession this summer. Much has changed over the years. The media landscape today is a tricky one. I’ve had to deal with the click-bait mentality of one organization, and the pom-pom waving of another. And it seems like some are more interested in being friends with players than telling the real story. But just as I was entertaining thoughts of opening a bar, or applying at the postal service, The Athletic presented this opportunity. Frankly, it’s a writer’s dream: find the best stories and execute.
Jason Jones: Getting to the root of how the Kings plan to change that and if they have the players to make that happen is what matters. That’s what I’ll devote my time to unearthing with The Athletic. That’s not to say the games do not matter. They obviously do. But what I will not give you are recaps of what you’ve seen or click-bait stories that only reveal minimal details.
Brett Dawson: Westbrook, as it turned out, was open and introspective that day in Phoenix. He talked about the narrative that teammates don’t enjoy playing with him, disputing it and wondering rhetorically why it’s a subject broached so often with him and so rarely with other stars. His initial warning was classic Westbrook. But the interview — and the story that sprang from it — was emblematic of the kind of work I most enjoy, the kind I’m hoping to do more of now that I’m covering the Thunder for The Athletic.
Ralph Lawler will call Clippers broadcasts during his 40th and final NBA season alongside an alternating cast of seven analysts. Corey Maggette, Don MacLean, Hubie Brown, Mike Fratello, Ryan Hollins, Cheryl Miller and Bill Walton all will take turns serving as the in-game analyst alongside Lawler’s play-by-play on Prime Ticket and Fox Sports San Diego broadcasts during the 2018-19 season, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Barry Jackson: One other Heat broadcast thing: Am told Rex Chapman and Keyon Dooling were other Heat TV studio analyst finalists. So Ruth Riley a surprising outside-the-box choice. Rothstein returning too,fyi.
Ira Winderman: The Heat have hired Ruth Riley Hunter, the former Miami Sol WNBA player, as their radio analyst and television studio analyst. She replaces John Crotty, who takes over as television analyst for Tony Fiorentino.
How did you make the decision to leave Turner and join The Athletic? David Aldridge: We’ve been talking for a few weeks more formally. At the same time, I was very seriously contemplating going back to Turner. I love that place. . . . They made an incredibly fair offer. It was a very tough decision, but it was an opportunity to be in on the ground floor of something here, to have some real say in coverage and personnel, to be home more. And the fact that the D.C. sports community has really matured over the last 10 years, I think all those things came together at the same time and made it worth taking the leap of faith that this thing can work and be successful.
Last week, Andrew Marchand of the Post reported that several TV outlets were interested in hiring Richard Jefferson as a game analysts, listing YES, ESPN and the Clippers as the top three. Now, league sources tell NetsDaily that unless RJ gets an offer to play another year, he will be joining the YES Network, doing both game analysis and studio work on broadcasts of Nets games, The move to the broadcast booth comes a decade after he was traded to the Bucks for Yi Jianlian. Jefferson, 38, has since played with the Spurs, Warriors, Jazz, Mavericks, Cavaliers and Nuggets, winning an NBA championship with Cleveland two years ago. He joined the Cavs broadcast teams in the playoffs last season, his first broadcasting gig.
Dwight Jaynes: It was announced earlier today but I haven't had a chance to tweet about it. With the help of @JamieHudsonNBCS I will be the new @Portland Trail Blazers insider. I will be covering the team home and road and I'm happy to get back to that beat again. Hey, I scooped @Damian Lillard on this!
Mike Richman: I'm joining the @NBCSNorthwest to cover the Trail Blazers this season. Excited to get started, and get back to writing about basketball. In the immortal words of Mike Tyson, Let's Grill 'Em!
David Aldridge: After 30 years on planes…I’m coming home. I’ll be joining The Athletic D.C. as Editor in Chief.
David Aldridge: So why make the move now? First, and foremost, I’ve been missing too much of my family’s collective life. My wife and I have two sons, who are growing up way too fast. And I don’t want to keep missing plays and concerts and baseball games. I’ll still miss some of them, but not as many. I’ll hopefully be able to take my wife out more than once or twice a month. There will be a lot of long days and nights, and a lot of games to attend in town, but when the games are over, I’ll go home, not to a hotel. Second, I’m a man in love with words. Even though I’ve primarily been a television reporter for the last two decades, I still often refer to myself as a writer who appears on TV. My voice comes from my writing. Believe me: I understand the power of television. It produces emotional, visceral reactions.
Shams Charania: My first real passions in life were basketball and writing, and I hoped to combine that with my love for the NBA and the ins and outs of the league. I loved the NBA and playing basketball, so I had to find my route to stay around the game. Writing about it was that route. I grew up roaming the websites of RealGM and HoopsHype for the latest rumors. Whether it was driving to Milwaukee or nearby Indianapolis in high school, I always wanted to challenge myself and find interesting topics to write about. It was more than just the news items that interested me. It was the behind-the-scenes stories, the rise and fall of players, the teams and people in the league that fascinated me and pushed me to pursue the career. The subjects around the NBA are intriguing and I am proud of the relationships I have formed over the years in this field because it showed me the respect and openness of many of them.
Dan Woike: Some personal news. I’m moving off the #Chargers beat to become the national NBA writer at the @latimes. It’s an incredible opportunity and I’m excited to work with @taniaganguli, @BA_Turner and @AndrewGreif.
Glen Crevier: Happy to announce @ChristopherHine as the Star Tribune’s new Timberwolves beat writer. Chris has covered the Sports analytics beat since joining @StribSports in January.
There is an opening in the Fox Sports broadcast booth right now next to Ralph Lawler, and a lot of people on Twitter and Reddit have mentioned your name. Are you throwing your name in the hat? Does the position interest you? Corey Maggette: *Laughs* Honestly, that’s up to Fox and up to the Clippers. I’m humbled by them and fans even trying to consider me for that position. I think for me, in my step in my life and career, it would be a great position. I just got to make sure it kind of fits with the family dynamic. For me, I think it’s more about my kids. Being able to see them more. When those opportunities come up, sometimes you miss out on those other opportunities with your family. Who knows? Who knows what will happen. It could be a great job and to work with a legend like Ralph Lawler would be amazing. We’ll see happens this upcoming year.
Andrew Marchand: Heard ESPN's Ryan Hollins is a candidate for the LA Clippers' TV analyst job. The Clippers let go former ESPNer Bruce Bowen reportedly because he made comments that could potentially hurt their pursuit of Kawhi Leonard next year.
That’s what I’m hoping to bring to The Athletic in my new role as Pelicans beat reporter, and I intend on providing quality content that Pelicans fans can enjoy and learn from. I’m thrilled to be joining Larry Holder, my former co-worker at NOLA.com, at The Athletic and we’ll be working everyday to make this the No. 1 destination for any sports fan in New Orleans to read about their favorite teams.
Scott Agness: I’m excited to join the talented group of writers at The Athletic where they put it best: “Fall in love with the sports page again.” Over the last year, I found myself visiting here more and more often. When your attention and money is valued over company metrics, everyone wins. As anyone who follows me knows, I’m all about a good deal. And here at The Athletic, I believe you easily get more than you pay for. During a time when national publications are cutting back and sports departments are trimming down, The Athletic is pushing ahead and giving readers value for their subscription.
Potential suitors lined up like NBA teams courting a franchise player. Charania spoke with ESPN, Turner Sports, Facebook, and NBC Sports, in addition to Yahoo, but the competition wasn’t particularly close. Early on, his heart was set on a joint agreement with The Athletic, a subscription-based sportswriting platform, and Stadium, which hails itself as the cord-cutter’s sports network. Two forward-thinking media companies that really wanted him, an opportunity to develop his writing and on-camera abilities—it struck him as a perfect fit, so he didn’t seriously consider other offers.
You’re only 24—how did someone so young become an NBA news breaking machine? Shams Charania: I realized that I needed to fulfill my passion for the NBA in ways other than playing, and I always loved writing and the behind-the-scenes aspect of the league, so I combined both. I began writing for my high school newspaper as a junior and started a Bulls blog on ChicagoNow, a subsidiary of the Chicago Tribune, where I would write several stories/recaps/analysis articles per day. I began reporting on 10-day deals, too. After some reps under my belt as my senior year began, I reached out to RealGM.com and was fortunate to forge a relationship with them. I started covering games during my senior year, driving up to Milwaukee for Bucks games, which was an important experience. My first Las Vegas Summer League, in 2013, was also a critical moment, allowing me to put faces to names and meet new people. It’s always been about continuing to push and looking long-term with every relationship—and trying to take something from those whom I admire to paint my own picture. There also are a lot of high-character and open-minded people in the industry who gave me a chance.
Shams Charania: I am excited to announce I am joining The Athletic and Stadium as the lead Senior NBA Insider/Writer and Analyst later this month. I am so grateful and honored to have spent the past three years at Yahoo. I’m appreciative to have been part of The Vertical and the tremendous staff, top to bottom. Thank you to all of the Yahoo Sports executives, editors Johnny Ludden and Joe Garza and the rest of the group. Now, I am so pumped and thrilled for this next journey and challenge. I’m excited to join the talented people at both The Athletic and Stadium, two places with tremendous enthusiasm, opportunity for growth and determination to cover the league. Both are hungry and ready. So am I.
Moke Hamilton: I am happy to announce that, on August 15, I’ll be joining @TheAthletic. I’ll be working closely alongside @MikeVorkunov and @MikeAScotto on the Knicks and Nets for @TheAthleticNYC, and will also be providing NBA cap and sports business content. #FB
The Action Network announced today that it has signed Rob Perez, aka @World_Wide_Wob, to a multi-year deal as a Senior NBA Producer. In addition to the massively popular videos Perez regularly creates, he will also be writing, podcasting, contributing content to The Action Network social platforms and developing new programming. “I’m excited to be joining The Action Network team and am thoroughly impressed with what they’ve put together in such a short amount of time,” Perez said. “They get it. I don’t even know how to define what ‘it’ is, but you know when someone has it. Parlay this with their belief in my crazy vision, and I have no doubt we’ll be doing something game-changing soon.”
Jason Jones: A little news ... starting in September I’ll be changing employers and covering the Kings and NBA for @TheAthletic ... looking forward to the next episode, engaging more with readers and fans and telling some great stories.
May 8, 2021 | 6:38 pm EDT Update
Fred Katz: How crazy is this run Westbrook has been on of late? He has a chance to tie Oscar Robertson’s all-time triple-double record of 181 tonight. He has been in the NBA for 13 years. And more than 11 percent of his career triple-doubles have come in the last six weeks.
Jon Krawczynski: Asked Rubio if he’d try to get @Alex Rodriguez to pay his technical fine: “I will definitely call the league to see if they can take the fine out. Should he be the one to take it? I don’t think that’s a good way to introduce myself, to be honest with you.”
Josh Lewenberg: Nurse tells a story about going fishing with Jonas Valanciunas in Lithuania one time. “I have never seen a guy so happy when he was reeling in a fish. So intense, so excited. I just told him next year when we’re out on the floor I’m going to tell you to rebound like it’s a fish.”
May 8, 2021 | 5:28 pm EDT Update
Scott Agness: Pacers assistant coach Greg Foster is back, and continues working with Goga Bitadze. They hugged before beginning pre-game warmups.