NBA Rumor: Media Hirings

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Maria Taylor headed to NBC?

Maria Taylor and ESPN are divorcing — and she is headed to NBC and will cover the Olympics, The Post has learned. Taylor, 34, leaves ESPN just weeks after the existence of a year-old private recording of leaked comments was reported by the New York Times in which fellow NBA host/reporter Rachel Nichols alleged ESPN gave Taylor the Finals hosting job to make up for what Nichols described as the network’s “crappy longtime record on diversity.”

Kevin Calabro’s return to the broadcasting booth with the Trail Blazers is not a done deal. The Blazers, who let Jordan Kent go last week as their TV play-by-play announcer, have extended an offer in principle to Calabro, who served as their TV play-by-play man from 2016-20 but gave up his job during the COVID-19-interrupted 2020 campaign. Calabro said Tuesday his agent, Kristin Bredes, is negotiating with the Blazers, “but we have not come to any kind of terms. If you don’t have an agreement inked, you don’t have a deal. There is a mutual desire to get something done, but it hasn’t been done. We’ll continue to explore all other options.”

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.
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September 23, 2021 | 11:46 am EDT Update
Though it doesn’t look good right now, the Sixers continue to insist that their preferred outcome at this point is to bring Simmons back and try to work through this. Embiid has publicly stumped for Simmons and privately insisted they can turn this around if they simply get him back in the gym and around the team. Rivers does not believe this will be an issue in the locker room, using an example from his own playing days to show these situations can be rectified. “The San Antonio Spurs traded Sean Elliott,” Rivers said. “You remember that? Traded him to Detroit, he failed the physical, didn’t want to come back, came back and they won the championship the next year, so these things can happen.”
Storyline: Ben Simmons Trade?
“That may be where he’s at today, that may not be where he’s at tomorrow. You just don’t know, and that’s why we got to keep communicating and see where we can take this,” Rivers said. “He has four years left on his contract, it’s in our hands…once we get him back in the fold, then we can get to work. If that doesn’t happen, I don’t have an expectation. Because I don’t know where we would go. That will happen if it happens, but right now Ben is still part of this team, and I’m gonna focus on that part of it.”
Yossi Gozlan: The Pelicans ended up operating over the cap after clearing a lot of money in their trade with the Memphis Grizzlies. While they couldn’t get an All-Star caliber player with their flexibility, they might have better fits on their team now that they have more shooting to surround Williamson. They could be primed for a significant in-season trade with many young players, draft picks and tradeable salaries in their arsenal. Satoransky and Josh Hart could be particularly expendable due to New Orleans’ glut of guards, with Hart being an intriguing name to keep an eye on due to his unique salary structure.
Yossi Gozlan: Robinson is currently eligible for an extension worth up to $55.6 million over four years. Since the Knicks exercised his team option for this season, he will become an unrestricted free agent in 2022. This could incentivize them to extend him before the end of the season. A two-year deal that aligns his contract with the rest of the core could make sense. The Knicks won’t be losing any cap space since they’re capped out until at least 2023. They also must decide whether or not to extend Kevin Knox before the start of the regular season.
Storyline: Mitchell Robinson Extension?
Ownership was made aware of Rosas’ transgressions with the staffer when team officials were provided with photographic evidence of their connection, sources said. It seems few if any in Minnesota and around the league had general knowledge of Rosas’ relationship until Wednesday, when the news quickly spread throughout the organization, and to rival team personnel, like wildfire. Rosas and the woman, each of whom is married, were seen kissing in a suite during a Minnesota United FC game last Saturday at Allianz Field​​, sources said. The soccer club was told to reserve luxury seating for several Timberwolves players and personnel, including assistant coach Pablo Prigioni. Two seats were filled by Rosas and the staffer.
Those pictures have been obtained by Bleacher Report. One photograph is a close-up shot, clearly showing Rosas and the woman sitting beside one another in light blue cushioned seats, behind the suite’s protective plexiglass. A second photograph follows, where the two have leaned towards one another for a romantic embrace. Minnesota’s statement announcing Rosas’ departure provided no further context behind its decision, and as word of his affair swirled around the league Wednesday, several executives noted how Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor did not thank Rosas for his time atop the team’s basketball department, as is customary in the business.
Storyline: Timberwolves Front Office