KNBR today announced a multiyear contract extension with host Tom Tolbert. A source told The Athletic that the extension will keep Tolbert under contract for four more years from the date it was originally set to expire, in the middle of 2020.
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Zach Lowe is staying with ESPN. The NBA talent is signing a multiyear extension with the network, The Big Lead has learned. When reached by text, an ESPN spokesperson declined to comment on the news. As The Big Lead previously reported, Lowe’s contract with ESPN was coming up and The Athletic had interest in adding him to their subscription service.
Danni Wysocki: Welcome to the @NBCSChicago fam @KC Johnson #bfd #leggo
Lowe has not yet signed a new deal with ESPN. Decision-makers at the network really hope to retain him, but there exists a price that is a bridge too far as they continue to practice austerity on talent deals. The most likely suitor for Lowe is The Athletic. They are believed to have made a substantial offer. Lowe, in deciding between ESPN and The Athletic, must weigh factors like whether and how much he wants to be on television, the extent to which having the widest possible readership for his stories and listenership for his podcasts is important to him, and if he wants the pressure of driving enough subscriptions to justify a seven-figure annual deal.
It is expected that Eric Woodyard, who has covered the Utah Jazz for the Deseret News, will be moving to Chicago to replace Andrews on the midwestern beat (Bulls, Bucks, Pistons, Pacers), but the deal is not yet finalized. ESPN has hired Andrew Lopez away from the Times-Picayune to cover Zion Williamson and the Pelicans.
Andrew Lopez: Personal news: I’ve been hired as an NBA writer for ESPN. I’ll have more specifics later but I’ll be based in NOLA – so get ready for more Pels coverage. Working for ESPN has been a dream of mine since I was 8 or 9. And now it’s real. To say I’m excited is an understatement.
Eric Woodyard: I can confirm this news! Let’s go!!!!
CNBC.com managing editor Jeffrey McCracken sent out the following announcement on Thursday to the staff: I am pleased to announce a new hire for the CNBC.com newsroom. Jabari Young joins as a sports business reporter based in Englewood Cliffs. He will cover news ranging from big TV network sports contracts to the influence of agents to the growth of sports gambling. Jabari comes to CNBC from San Antonio where he reported on the NBA and San Antonio Spurs for The Athletic. Before that, he covered the Spurs’ 2013-2014 championship run for the San Antonio Express-News and later broke the story on NBA superstar Kawhi Leonard requesting a trade from the team.
Rosalyn Gold-Onwude: So excited to begin the next chapter of my career ☺️ First up: I’ll be hosting @FirstTake on ESPN for a series of shows through August, Sept & beyond! Geeked to join this huge platform w Stephen A & Max while filling in for the fabulous Molly Qerim! 1st show is tomorrow (Thurs)💪🏽
Sources told The Post that Billups is leaving “Countdown” to be a TV game analyst for the Los Angeles Clippers. Billups very well could continue at ESPN, too, but he likely will shift to games. Pierce is not expected to remain on “Countdown.”
Turner Sports is revamping its NBA coverage and is on the verge of hiring Stan Van Gundy away from ESPN to be a prominent game analyst, The Post has learned. Van Gundy’s addition could have long-term implications for Turner’s top games. For its marquee event, the conference finals, Turner typically goes with a three-man booth.
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.
Jessica Camerato: Some news to share with all of you:
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
Evan Turner: Sources: Former @ESPN Celtics reporter @ChrisForsberg_ has signed with @NBCSBoston
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.
Jabari Young: Damn… lol… 😂 … the brother beat me to my own news … I respect it ✊🏿💯
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.
Damian Lillard: Sources: @Sam Amick leaving USA Today for a national job at The Athletic … 🤷🏽♂️
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.
Storyline Hype Rumor visits per day for the last week
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September 18, 2019 | 8:25 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: The Lakers have been granted a disabled player exception worth $1.75M from the NBA for the expected season-ending ACL injury to DeMarcus Cousins, league sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium. It expires on March 10, 2020.
Antigravity treadmills, light therapy lasers and 3D movement analysis services are just a few of the high-tech rehabilitation gizmos for injured athletes inside Henry Ford Health System’s new and soon-to-open William Clay Ford Center for Athletic Medicine. The three-story, $37-million sports medicine center at 690 Amsterdam in Midtown Detroit is expected to open by Oct. 15.
On Wednesday, some members of the Pistons organization joined Henry Ford for the sports medicine center’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. Detroit Lions team owner Martha Ford, 94, the widow of William Clay Ford, was in attendance. (The Lions also use Henry Ford for their team’s doctors.). “Our move to Detroit would not have happened without our partnership with Henry Ford,” said Arn Tellem, vice chairman of the Pistons. “Our organizations have worked side by side to create one of the best developments in medicine and sports, not in the region, in the world. This is a true game-changer for our team, franchise and the community.”
September 18, 2019 | 7:05 pm EDT Update
Rick Bonnell: Nothing new if @Charlotte Hornets 2nd-round pick Jalen McDaniels will be signed for training camp, per agent @Nima Namakian. Hornets are at maximum 20 camp slots for now, but that is far from set in stone. GM Mitch Kupchak told me he’d like to have McDaniels in team’s development system.
Bitadze arrived in Indiana just days after Summer League ended. With high-profile players like No. 1 pick Zion Williamson and No. 3 pick R.J. Barrett making brief appearances in Vegas before getting shut down, Bitadze said he was aware of the optics surrounding his absence. “It looked like I didn’t want to play or something,” he said.
Pacers coach Nate McMillan echoed Bitadze’s disappointment in missing Summer League, adding the rookie would’ve played if he was able to. “We tried to do everything we could to try to speed up that visa,” McMillan said. “As soon as we drafted him, we talked about it that night. To try to get it, put a rush on it and get it so he could get back and play. I would’ve loved to see him play in Vegas. It didn’t work out, but it was good to see him in some runs in the month of August and September.”