Storyline: Media Hirings

199 rumors in this storyline

Jenny Dial Creech: Friday night news… later this month I’ll start in my new role as managing editor for The Athletic Houston. I’m thrilled to stay in this city and cover the vibrant sports scene here with the terrific writers on staff. Thanks again for the continued support! For the time being, I’m going to take a few days to hang out with my family and catch my breath. I look forward to getting started on this new journey very soon.

More Rumors in this Storyline

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.”
1 year ago via reddit

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
More HoopsHype Rumors
January 24, 2020 | 2:36 am UTC Update
Brad Townsend: Misunderstood earlier. JJ’s idea was to write Powell’s name on all the players’ shoes. “We’ve got to keep him around somehow,” Barea says. He spoke to today Powell, who still is deciding which surgeon to use.

“We’d gotten calls for years about Dirk,” he tells me, “and you say, ‘No, Dirk’s not on the table. We’re not going to trade Dirk.’” Cuban reminisces about some other potentially big Mavericks acquisitions that never came to fruition. He was rehearsing for his stint on Dancing With the Stars when he learned that Jerry Buss had talked Bryant out of demanding a trade to the Mavericks in 2007. In 2013, Dallas thought it had Paul Pierce in a three-way deal, but the third team torpedoed it. “Every team asks every team if they’d be willing to trade their star player,” he says.
He wishes the league would build out more streamable content in the offseason, like investing in The Basketball Tournament or the Big 3. “Right?” he says. “We should have NBA content year-round, but it’s beyond the definition of stupidity that we take our best players and we let them play for the Olympics, which is a commercial event.” In Cuban’s mind, basketball should be more like soccer. “What’s a bigger event, soccer in the Olympics, or the World Cup of soccer?” he asks. “Why can’t we do the same thing?”
January 24, 2020 | 2:28 am UTC Update
Micah Adams: Most years as leading All-Star vote-getter Michael Jordan – 9 LeBron James- 7 Vince Carter – 4 Kobe Bryant – 4 Julius Erving – 4 Dwight Howard – 2 Yao Ming – 2 Grant Hill – 2 Magic Johnson – 2 George Gervin – 2
Storyline: All-Star Selections
Lonzo Ball’s per-game assist average was higher on the road than at home in his two seasons with the Lakers. In fact, his assist percentage has been higher on the road every season of his career. Once again, Ball isn’t unique in this phenomenon. Across the league, the home-court assist advantage—a consistent analytical assumption for decades, a staple of NBA scorekeeping—has all but disappeared.
According to an NBA spokesperson, beginning with the 2017-18 season, the league added a stats auditor to watch games at the replay center in Secaucus, New Jersey. Using a DVR-style device to review plays during breaks in action, this individual can serve as a fallback option in the case of a misawarded number in the box score. All decisions are made by the in-arena stats crews, the NBA official stressed, but the auditor can work in conjunction with them and recommend certain changes as the game speeds by. The more eyes, the official said, the better.
Or, remember that almost every prominent passer in NBA history collected more assists at home than on the road? One of the few exceptions is Steve Nash, who recorded 0.4 more assists per game on the road than at home. In Nash’s heyday, Phoenix employed one of the least-friendly scorekeeping crews for assists. Had he enjoyed a typical home bias over his career, he would have retired with upwards of 500 more career assists than he did, and he would move ahead of Jason Kidd (who enjoyed a typical 11 percent home-court assist advantage in his career) for eighth on the all-time assists-per-game leaderboard.
January 24, 2020 | 1:50 am UTC Update
After a week and further testing, Murray’s ankle injury is less concerning than it was the night of the injury, team sources told Mile High Sports. According to those sources, Murray has a low ankle sprain. There is no firm timetable for his return, but the Nuggets organization is not terribly worried about his ankle issue which is good news considering how much pain Murray was in after sustaining the injury and the fact that he put no weight on his left leg at all at the time.
Storyline: Jamal Murray Injury
January 24, 2020 | 12:50 am UTC Update
January 24, 2020 | 12:24 am UTC Update
The streets of Chicago surely will be jam-packed with celebrities and basketball junkies come NBA All-Star Weekend in three weeks. On the court at United Center, this year’s threads will pay homage to the city’s popular alternative use of transportation — the transit line. Jordan Brand and Nike designers have developed a concept to incorporate all eight lines of the train, identified locally as the Chicago “L,” as the theme of each uniform color.
January 24, 2020 | 12:11 am UTC Update
Bryant still has informal conversations with Lakers’ controlling owner Jeanie Buss, general manager Rob Pelinka, LeBron James and young player Kyle Kuzma. He attended two Lakers games this season and attracted attention from NBA stars and fans alike. Yet, Bryant maintained he has “zero” involvement with his former team and has higher aspirations than chasing nostalgia.
Consider what Bryant experienced on his farewell tour during his final season with the Lakers in 2015-16. Teammates, team officials and opponents did not just shower Bryant with praise. Some of them also shared their misgivings. “ ‘I don’t know what you want to do when you retire,’ ” Bryant recited. “ ‘You’re going to go through a state of depression. You’re going to have an identity crisis.’ These are all things that were said to me because people were genuinely concerned.”
Storyline: Kobe Bryant Retirement
Bryant turned his head toward something he considered more meaningful. He stared at the Oscar, Sports Emmy and Annie Award that he won for his short film, “Dear Basketball”. “They’re at the top for me,” Bryant said in a wide-ranging interview with USA TODAY Sports. “It’s not something that was expected. As a kid, you kind of have the goal of winning championships and all these sorts of things. Being in the industry that I’m in now? It wasn’t something that was thought of me winning an Oscar.”
January 23, 2020 | 11:35 pm UTC Update
The New York Knicks, the National Basketball Association’s most valuable team despite a string of losing seasons, are getting a makeover. The franchise known for stars like Clyde Frazier, Willis Reed and Patrick Ewing — and off the court for hothead owner Jim Dolan — is partnering with Steve Stoute’s Translation agency in an attempt to bolster its brand and strengthen its ties to the fan base.
January 23, 2020 | 11:25 pm UTC Update