Storyline: Media Hirings

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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.”


Charania, just 24, will be deciding on a new home soon. Just a year out of college, Charania has made a name for himself by challenging Wojnarowski, now at ESPN, on the NBA transaction beat. Charania will be bringing his more than 360,000 Twitter followers to a new destination soon. He has had talks with ESPN, though the network has a large stable of NBA insiders, including Ramona Shelburne, Chris Haynes and Dave McMenamin, among others, so a fit seems unlikely. NBC Sports Regional Networks and The Athletic are two known places with interest. Yahoo, according to one source, is looking to replace Charania, so, memo to NBA insiders: Send your résumés.

So if Yahoo doesn’t retain Charania, where could he wind up? ESPN could basically end the NBA scoop game by reuniting Wojnarowski and Charania in Bristol. […] Turner/NBA TV/Bleacher Report could try to make a bigger impact in terms of competing with ESPN. Charania worked on Turner’s team-centric Final Four telecast that included his alma mater, Loyola. The Athletic, the two-plus-year-old subscription site that has raised $20 million, could try to build an NBA vertical around Charania the way it has with Ken Rosenthal on baseball.

Jeff Goodman is leaving ESPN and joining the upstart Stadium, The Big Lead has learned from a person with direct knowledge of the news. Unauthorized to speak publicly on the matter, the person requested anonymity. Goodman and an ESPN spokesperson declined to comment. Goodman has signed a multi-year deal with Stadium, which started as a streaming platform and is making a big financial commitment toward an editorial push. Former ESPN college football reporter Brett McMurphy will also be joining Stadium, as Richard Deitsch reported in late April.

Marking FloSports’ entry into the NBA, Thorpe will lead the development of in-depth written content, which challenges the way fans see the sport. He will provide premium NBA content for the remainder of the 2018 season and postseason. Thorpe joins FloHoops with 30 years of experience in basketball as an esteemed and widely recognized NBA analyst and published author. Starting his career as an inner-city high school coach in the late 1980s, Thorpe progressed to training more than 75 NBA players, including All-Stars, lottery picks, and record setters, as well as more than 100 professional players in Europe.

Jon Krawczynski: I have joined The Athletic after 16 tremendous years at The Associated Press. This introductory piece is not going to be about me, but about you. Namely, what kind of coverage you can expect now that I have joined the incomparable Michael Russo on the staff here in Minnesota. I am the Senior Writer focusing primarily on the Timberwolves/NBA and Vikings. Those familiar with my work understand how passionate I am about covering the NBA in general and the Timberwolves in particular, and that will only increase as I move to my new home here at The Athletic. One of the things I am most looking forward to is teaming with Britt Robson to provide top-shelf coverage of a team that seems poised for a breakthrough season.

After failed turnaround efforts and a lengthy sales process, Yahoo announced it had sold to Verizon in July 2016 (the deal didn’t close until this past summer). With three years left on his deal, it’s believed that Wojnarowski had a clause in his contract that afforded him the opportunity to exit his deal if Yahoo’s ownership situation were to change. With the continued uncertainty about Yahoo’s direction going forward and the less than perfect launch of The Vertical, Wojnarowski opted to explore an exit from Yahoo and targeted ESPN as the only landing spot worth engaging with.

Uniformly, everyone I spoke to with knowledge of the courtship between ESPN and Woj denied any requests regarding NBA staffing, nor was Woj informed about ESPN’s NBA staffing plans. A source close the situation firmly stated “It’s simply not true” in regards to the conjecture that Woj was directly involved in any layoffs on the NBA side. ESPN PR declined to comment which is somewhat consistent on the matter as they’ve generally refrained from commenting on anything specific pertaining to the layoff round.

Tim Kawakami: Bob Myers sees this. I had a conversation with Bob about this kind of randomly and he sees this. Don’t want to throw his name out there, but it’s safe to say that he would be fine with that. Sees what the future is. Sees what this is. And some newspaper reporters I’ve talked to, just a few, don’t see it. Think they’re going to be protected forever; this is the way they’ve made a living and they always will. I don’t come to the same conclusion. People on internet sites who’ve made the jump absolutely see this. It’s not like this is a guarantee. It’s not a guarantee. But newspapers are far from a guarantee right now.

Chauncey Billups has signed a new multiyear deal with ESPN, continuing his expanded role as an NBA analyst, the network announced Friday. Billups, a Denver native and the 2004 NBA Finals MVP, has worked as analyst at ESPN since the 2014-15 season, when he was used primarily to provide analysis on “SportsCenter” and other programs throughout the network. He joined “NBA Countdown” for Wednesday night broadcasts during the 2015-16, and this season he became a full-time “NBA Countdown” analyst, working on the network’s lead team alongside host Michelle Beadle and fellow analyst Jalen Rose.

Whatever his eventual role, it might just be semantics. Those within ESPN—and multiple reporters outside of ESPN—expect that Wojnarowski will bring most The Vertical staffers along with him. ESPN may even be buying The Vertical outright. (Yahoo and ESPN declined to comment.) Wojnarowski might be just a reporter, but his presence looms large behind the decisions ESPN is making, and some ESPNers believe Yahoo editor Johnny Ludden will take Abbott’s role in running ESPN.com’s NBA coverage.

Woj to begin working for ESPN at the NBA draft?

Last week, ESPN cut some of its reporters and on-air personnel. But the sports programmer is also hiring: It has finalized a deal to hire Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo’s star NBA reporter. Sources familiar with ESPN’s plan say Wojnarowski will begin working for ESPN in time to cover the June 22 NBA draft. I’m told the network also intends to bring aboard some of the staff of The Vertical, the NBA site Wojnarowski launched for Yahoo 2016.
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September 19, 2018 | 8:55 am EDT Update

Warriors adding Will Cherry

Will Cherry is expected to join the Golden State Warriors on an Exhibit 10 contract, a source told Sportando. The guard, who has played 8 games with Cavs in 2014-2015, spent last season with KK Cedevita in Croatia averaging 10.5 points in the domestic league, 11.1 points in AB Liga and 11.8 points with 4 assists in EuroCup.
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If McCaw doesn’t show up, maybe the Warriors will just stage an open competition and see if one of those younger options seizes the opportunity. But the most likely result remains McCaw’s eventual concession. A similar situation happened with center Alex Len in Phoenix last summer. He didn’t love his $4.2 million qualifying offer. He dragged the process deep into the summer. He finally accepted it on Sept. 21, right before camp.
Wade, 36, waited until the end of the video before revealing his choice. He began by stating the reasons he considered walking away. The red-eye flights, nightly ice baths and hours on the training table were all factors but nothing made retirement look more appealing than spending more time with family. “Is it selfish of me wanting to continue being away from family,” Wade said. “Can I miss my son’s games? Can I miss my son? Can I not be there in moments that they need me? Can I not read to my kids as much as I want. Can I not be there to support my wife? It’s all these things.”
Before entering the league in 2003, Wade always thought time was forever on his side. He was quickly corrected by veteran teammates. Sixteen years later, the warnings proved true. “When you first come in the league, the vets tell you, they say, `Young fella, it’s going to go by fast,’” Wade said in the video. “You think at that time, `I’m just getting started.’ … I’m here to tell you it goes by fast. It’s been a tough summer. This has been a summer for me that not a lot of athletes want to see this time come, where you have to decide if you want to continue to play the game that you love.”’