NBA Rumor: Media Hirings

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BasketballNews.com adds Matt Babcock to oversee the site’s NBA Draft coverage Today, BasketballNews.com announced that they have hired Matt Babcock to lead their coverage of the NBA Draft and evaluate prospects at various levels. Babcock was previously the owner and founder of Babcock Hoops, a basketball website that had an emphasis on NBA Draft coverage. As part of this deal, Babcock Hoops will be dissolved and Matt’s work will be found exclusively at BasketballNews.com.

Amin Elhassan: For those of you who listened to this ep of @LeBatardShow , the cat’s outta the bag: after 8 yrs, I am leaving ESPN & will be joining the pirate ship down in Miami. In true narcissistic navelgazing fashion, here’s a thread of thoughts on end of 1 chapter & start of a new one. I’m grateful for time at ESPN; when I arrived, I was an unknown former NBA front office lifer & now I leave with a much bigger platform than I ever imagined having. I never imagined working in media until ESPN asked me to & gave me the opportunity to share my thoughts to millions. I’m especially thankful for having worked for the Walt Disney Company, a fact which not only gave my kids a great point of pride in their dad, but also gave their dad the opportunity to give them endless Disneyland trips and walk the red carpet on a Star Wars premiere. Very cool

NBC Sports Boston’s Celtics coverage team has undergone several changes since the start of last season, but a familiar face is returning. Abby Chin will host pregame and postgame coverage, and will be in the role when the Celtics open the preseason Tuesday night against the Sixers. “It means so much to me,” said Chin, who lost her job as sideline reporter due to wide-ranging layoffs by NBC Sports Boston’s parent company in August. “Over the years I’ve been interested in that role, and now, coming back after everything that happened, I feel like I’ve been allowed to have an even bigger role.”

The Charlotte Hornets announced today that Sam Farber has been named the team’s new radio play-by-play broadcaster. Farber comes to Charlotte from Southern California and brings a wide variety of broadcasting experience to the Hornets. He regularly calls play-by-play for college basketball, college baseball and high school football for both ESPN and FOX Sports West/Prime Ticket. Farber also serves as a Game Break Update anchor for college football games on FOX and FOX Sports 1, as well as the halftime and postgame host for University of Southern California football. Additionally, he has been a play-by-play announcer for the South Bay Lakers of the NBA G League on Spectrum SportsNet since 2016. From 2014-2016, Farber was the pregame host for the Los Angeles Clippers flagship station, The Beast 980, where he also was an anchor, reporter and host.

The Sacramento Kings announced today that Kyle Draper has been named as the team’s additional TV play-by-play announcer, following the recent announcement of new primary TV announcer Mark Jones, and host of “Kings Pregame Live” and “Kings Postgame Live” on NBC Sports California. Draper, who arrives in Sacramento with more than 20 years of television experience, will call select games alongside analyst and Kings legend Doug Christie on NBC Sports California when Jones is on assignment for ESPN.

“We are delighted to welcome Mark to the Kings family and watch him partner with Doug to form a new, dynamic broadcast team for the franchise and its proud fans,” said Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé. “Throughout his impressive career, Mark has amassed a tremendous wealth of experience broadcasting some of the largest events this league has hosted. We are excited he has chosen to continue his career in Sacramento as we look towards the bright future of this organization.

The New York Post announced a multiplatform partnership with Jalen Rose that spans a weekly column, video and podcast series called “The Renaissance Man.” The media personality, author, philanthropist, former NBA player and founder of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy will launch the multiplatform content program with the NYP this fall. It’s the first content partnership of this kind for the newspaper. “Rose will share anecdotes and lessons learned throughout his NBA career and beyond, and will relate them to current events and themes,” according to a statement from the NYP.

Barstool Sports after Charles Barkley?

First Deion Sanders … then Charles Barkley? Maybe! Barstool Sports prez Dave Portnoy says Sir Chuck is the next big star he’s hoping to sign, after inking Prime Time earlier this week. “Charles Barely is like the best to ever do it,” Portnoy told us in NYC … “He’s a guy, who one of the few, he just slings it on TNT and does a great job.” “That’s a guy that comes up on top of my list that I would wanna get.”

Shams Charania on the move?

As per John Ourand’s SBJ Media newsletter at Sports Business Journal, Charania’s deals with both those companies expire later this month (two years after he signed them), and that could lead to him moving on from one or both of those roles. Here’s more on that from Ourand: Shams Charania’s deals with The Athletic and Stadium are up at the end of the month, and he has started exploring whether to move to other outlets when his contracts end. What makes this situation so unique is that it is possible that the 26-year old Charania could switch outlets in the middle of the playoffs; the NBA Finals are slated to start Sept. 30. Typically August is a slow month on the NBA calendar. Not this year. The Chicago-based Charania could decide to re-up with The Athletic or Stadium, both of which have made moves to keep him.

ESPN was reportedly in the hunt for Charania back in the summer of 2018, and while they already have quite a prominent NBA insider in Adrian Wojnarowski, Woj and Shams worked together well in the past at Yahoo’s The Vertical. And ESPN has maybe more incentive than anyone else to add Charania, as they prioritize having their own reporters breaking the news of the day, whether that’s for the on-screen Bottom Line ticker, for ESPN.com or ESPN social media outlets, or for appearances on the likes of SportsCenter and other studio programming.

And if a Stadium-RSN expansion happens, keeping Charania at Stadium might make a lot of sense. The non-YES networks currently have local broadcast rights to 16 NBA teams, and the idea of a regional networks-wide reporter has been tried before, with NBC’s RSNs bringing on Tom Haberstroh in that role in October 2018. And Stadium has already been able to use Charania in a lot of other content, including daily news shows and that Rose documentary. So it makes sense that they’re trying to keep him.

Lakers Film Room: It is the honor of a lifetime to announce that I will be producing videos and other content for the @Lakers . What a dream come true. Picked me up off the buyout market after I cleared waivers Face with look of triumph AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

The sports media job market is not that strong at the moment, unless you are Adam Amin. Besides leaving ESPN to broadcast NFL and MLB for Fox Sports, Amin is on the verge of becoming the new TV voice of the Chicago Bulls, according to sources. Amin, a 33-year-old Chicago native, will replace the retiring longtime voice of the Bulls, Neil Funk. Funk announced this would be his final year after more than four decades in the NBA and almost 30 years with the Bulls. He was the team’s voice for five of its six Michael Jordan-led titles.

The sports media job market is not that strong at the moment, unless you are Adam Amin. Besides leaving ESPN to broadcast NFL and MLB for Fox Sports, Amin is on the verge of becoming the new TV voice of the Chicago Bulls, according to sources. Amin, a 33-year-old Chicago native, will replace the retiring longtime voice of the Bulls, Neil Funk. Funk announced this would be his final year after more than four decades in the NBA and almost 30 years with the Bulls. He was the team’s voice for five of its six Michael Jordan-led titles.

Eddie Maisonet: Life Update: I have a new job title, ESPN NBA Editor. I’m excited. Life Update No. 2: I still have no plug on tickets and/or accepting story pitches. I’m sorry. Life Update No. 3: If you don’t like something we publish, blame me. I’m not sorry. I need some ☕️, love y’all.

Chris Haynes continues to be a growth stock among NBA insiders. The senior NBA insider for Yahoo Sports is nearing a deal to become TNT’s sideline reporter for its Tuesday Night NBA game schedule that tips off in late January, sources tell Front Office Sports. TNT’s Tuesday Night coverage will feature an all-new look during the 2019-2020 season. After a two-year experiment, TNT is dumping the “Players Only” telecasts that featured former stars like Grant Hill, Derek Fisher, Kevin McHale, and Richard Hamilton.

NBA legend Dwyane Wade — a three-time NBA Champion, NBA Finals MVP and 13-time NBA All-Star — has reached a comprehensive, multiyear agreement with WarnerMedia that will include a variety of projects across the media company’s entire portfolio. Wade’s contributions will cross over a number of areas, including sports, lifestyle and entertainment. As part of his Turner Sports role, Wade will be a basketball commentator, making appearances at TNT’s tent pole NBA events and as a regular analyst for the network’s Tuesday night studio coverage, appearing alongside analysts Shaquille O’Neal and Candace Parker. Wade will also make studio appearances at the NCAA Final Four and National Championship, as part of Turner Sports and CBS Sports’ combined coverage of the event.

Frye, who made the “Road Trippin’” podcast an enjoyable mashup of inside basketball chatter and random side conversations just by being himself, will join NBA TV’s rotating group of analysts on “NBA GameTime” this season. “NBA GameTime,” a nightly program with highlights and analysis, has a stacked roster of 16 former players that includes Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin McHale, Chris Webber, Kenny Smith, Isiah Thomas, and Grant Hill, so it’s not clear how often Frye will appear. But, since the show airs so often, the 2016 NBA champion with the Cavs should have plenty of opportunities to make an impact.

Turner Sports hires Stan Van Gundy

Turner Sports has reached a multi-year agreement with Stan Van Gundy, with the veteran NBA head coach serving as a game analyst for NBA on TNT Tuesday night coverage, along with being an NBA TV studio analyst throughout the season. Van Gundy will be one of several commentators in new or expanded roles, with play-by-play broadcasters Ian Eagle and Brian Anderson and analyst Jim Jackson also contributing to TNT’s Tuesday night NBA coverage.

The Athletic pursuing Zach Lowe?

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.

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.
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June 12, 2021 | 8:31 am EDT Update

Virtus Bologna targeting Raptors' Sergio Scariolo?

Sergio Scariolo is a strong candidate for Virtus Bologna head coaching job, as reported by Il Corriere dello Sport and confirmed to Sportando. Sasha Djordjevic’s departure from Virtus Bologna was almost certain when Serie A playoffs started, also considering the elimination in EuroCup semifinals against Unics Kazan and the missed chance to play in EuroLeague next season.
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In the locker room after the Nets’ 86-83 loss, there were lots of “atta boys” and “pick your head ups” and “we’ll live with that shot” from teammates, but Irving had a little piece of extra advice. Be like dad. Dunk it. “Kyrie was like, ‘Hey, you gotta try and dunk it, get a foul or something,’” Brown said. “That’s definitely what I should have done. I had the lane and the angle too, so maybe if I did that I’d have gotten a foul call, gotten to the line. If I had taken my two steps toward the rim, I probably could’ve dunked the ball.”
The available replays call into question this very idea. Lopez is 7-feet tall, and he’d recovered quickly from where he was on the sideline to get in Brown’s way. Brown faded left as he shot the ball, and, “I shot it too hard, I was trying to get it up a little higher, but he was nowhere near the ball, looking at the pictures and the film. “I could’ve just really did a simple layup and made the shot,” he said. “I made it difficult for myself just thinking too much during the shot.”
Harris wasn’t the only one misfiring in the Nets’ 86-83 loss. Add in Landry Shamet (1-for-4) and Mike James (1-for-5), and three Nets who can make a defense pay for double-teaming Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were a combined 3-for-20 from the field, including 2-for-11 from 3-point range. If those supporting cast numbers are repeated Sunday in Game 4, the series soon could be tied. “If you look at it, only one or two buckets in the last three or four minutes that we needed to fall and they just didn’t,” coach Steve Nash said. “I thought plenty of opportunities. Now, would I want Kevin or Ky shooting every single ball? Of course, but that’s not always the way it works out. We can learn from it.”
Durant is 25 of 45 in the 10- to 14-foot range in these playoffs. No other player has made more than 17 playoff jumpers in that zone. Durant is 17 of 32 from the 15- to 19-foot range. No other player has made more than 12 playoff jumpers in that zone. Who is that next player? Devin Booker. He’s not quite Durant, from a potency or accuracy standpoint. But he’s the closest thing the NBA has to Durant right now. Booker is 17 of 33 in that 10- to 14-foot range and 12 of 26 in that 15- to 19-foot range. Combine both zones and Durant has made 42, Booker has made 29 and Kawhi Leonard has made 24 in these playoffs. That’s one, two, three in the rankings. Decent company for Phoenix’s rising three-level scorer.
Paul’s stabilizing presence has been a huge reason why the Suns are a game away from ending Denver’s season. He has scored 30 points on 12-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-4 from 3-point range, with eight assists and no turnovers combined in the three fourth quarters in this series, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. “We just got to make it more difficult on him,” Nuggets guard Monte Morris said. “He’s a Hall of Fame point guard, top five easily, still playing in the NBA. … He’s getting everybody involved. CP is a tough cover for anybody, but we have to just stick to our game plan and try to execute it the best way we can.