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Thread: ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

    Anyone else noticed over the past year or two ESPN/ABC's NBA coverage has gotten a whole lot better. Gone are Bill Walton and Stephen A Smith. I think they have finally found a good studio show at ABC, Wilbon, Magic and John barry are pretty good - although Stu Scott still is annoying. Sure TNT's studio show is still a whole lot better than anything that ESPN or ABC has. But where I really see the improvement is the game broadcast. ESPN IMO is now as good as TNT's. I don't think it is by accident either as the guy who used to run TNT's NBA coverage moved over to ESPN/ABC two years ago (his name excapes me right now)

    But with Hubie Brown, and Jeff Van Gundy/Mark Jackson - they rival anything TNT has. Although I give TNT credit, I think PJ Carlisimo is excellent. But I'm sorry blast me if you want, but I think Reggie Miller is awful - I almost can't watch the games he is doing.
    Technically though I think ESPN is better than TNT - the sound I get on my TV is better on ESPN, the camera work - the replays - overall I think ESPN is better than TNT in the techincal dept.

    Here is an article discussing SAS departure
    http://usatoday.printthis.clickabili...partnerID=1662


    By Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY

    Stephen A. Smith now wants to talk to you about everything.
    And that, he says, is why his last scheduled appearance on ESPN will be Thursday morning's First Take and his last day will be Friday: "I don't want to be in a situation where I'm limited."

    Not that he's knocking ESPN. Smith says it made him offers in recent months "for an additional year or two" which he says he turned down before ESPN said simply that it was not renewing his contract. He says he won't look for new work until Friday, when he hopes he'll face "a plethora of opportunities."

    He certainly got them at ESPN, where he started in 2003 and quickly popped up on various shows. The turning point was supposed to be his own signature Quite Frankly ESPN2 talk show, which debuted in 2005 with monstrous hype even by ESPN's standards.

    At the time, Smith said he'd be "a cross between Bill O'Reilly and Larry King." (Think about that for a second. On second thought, don't.)

    Al Jaffe, who oversees ESPN's on-air hiring and had been a judge alongside Smith on ESPN's Dream Job game show, back then said Smith was "a unique talent" with "huge upside." Sports Illustrated, before the show premiered, suggested Smith was already widely recognized as "the most despised sports personality on the air today and the final triumph of bluster and confidence over content."

    Turned out to be much ado about a show that produced next-to-nothing ratings. Now, Smith says the biggest problem was the show being shifted from its original 6:30 p.m. ET time slot to sometime around 11 p.m. ET sometime, that is, after the live games leading into his show ended. Says Smith, of that show, which lasted 17 months: "I believe to this day if my show had a definitive time slot, it would have been more successful."

    Smith's radio show on ESPN's New York affiliate came and went and he went back to popping up on various ESPN shows. But he kept getting noticed: An online video using a sock puppet meant to imitate Smith working the NBA draft "You must talk to me!" it insisted became an Internet hit.

    And all that, he hopes, will lead to future on-air work he would like to include, but not solely focus on, sports.

    Could happen. Plenty of TV sports types have gone on to broaden their on-air horizons. Smith now sees them as his role models. Like Robin Roberts "I adore her" and Bryant Gumbel "I idolize him." He admires Keith Olbermann, another crossover case who has a largely political talk show on MSNBC while also working NBC's NFL studio and writing columns for mlb.com. But he says his ESPN exit is nothing like Olbermann's fiery 1997 departure and is instead a matter of wanting to branch out.

    With ESPN, Smith was allowed to go on non-sports talk shows, but saw the limits to someone on ESPN dragging a famous sports brand into social or political debates: "I don't blame ESPN. It's a model that's worked for them to near-perfection. They're the most successful sports conglomerate in American history."

    Smith, when he began Quite Frankly, said "it's not that I always agree with black folks, but it's my responsibility to give their take." That made him really stand out, since the TV sports genre is generally squeamish about touching on racial issues and would usually prefer positioning sports as a color-blind meritocracy. And the TV sports genre is also squeamish about its analysts supposedly representing ethnic groups.

    The New York Post this week opined Smith is "a self-promoting, race-based gasbag." But Smith, asked if he now sees himself primarily as a sort of spokesman, is low-key: "I'm not this voice, or that voice. But if people want to hear a perspective from the African American community that otherwise wouldn't be heard, I'd be honored to deliver that message."

    He's glad that "finally people notice I don't scream nearly as much as I used to." (That resulted from his mother Janet forcefully asking him to "explain why you have to be so loud.") But he says silence isn't an option: "My aspiration is to have my own show again. I can't express to you how hungry I am for that opportunity."
    Last edited by Unclebuck; 04-30-2009 at 08:58 AM.

  2. #2
    Pacer Junky Will Galen's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

    I've mostly quit watching TNT's show because I don't like everyone talking over everyone. More and more shows are doing that. I switch channels every time. As for Smith, I didn't like his screaming.

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    Default Re: ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

    Quote Originally Posted by Will Galen View Post
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    I've mostly quit watching TNT's show because I don't like everyone talking over everyone. More and more shows are doing that. I switch channels every time. As for Smith, I didn't like his screaming.
    It is like the View of NBA pregame.

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    Default Re: ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

    Quote Originally Posted by Major Cold View Post
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    It is like the View of NBA pregame.
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    Default Re: ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

    Jesus, I never thought I would see the day when UB would say "Reggie Miller is awful". I had to gather myself after I read that. I do agree that Walton and Smith were probably two of the most annoying people on the planet. I watch most of the games with the TV muted. Reggie to me was OK because I just like the guy for what he did for Indy. He's a likable person unlike those other two.
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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

    Quote Originally Posted by aceace View Post
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    Jesus, I never thought I would see the day when UB would say "Reggie Miller is awful". I had to gather myself after I read that. I do agree that Walton and Smith were probably two of the most annoying people on the planet. I watch most of the games with the TV muted. Reggie to me was OK because I just like the guy for what he did for Indy. He's a likable person unlike those other two.
    Reggie is likable. But he says "here" or "there" in every sentence. And last night he actually said "don't play no cards". And besides the grammar mistakes which are in about every sentence - he doesn't say anything beyond the obvious - although he's better in a three man team - better with Fratello than he is by himself

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    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

    To me Jeff Van Gundy just jumped the shark on Mike and Mike with his "let them play" opinion on Howard and Rondo's plays.

    Remember when Floyd Landis used steroids in the final stage of the Tour de France, but perhaps hadn't used them prior to that? JVG would say "hey, let that go, it's late in the race".

    I guess now in the 4th Granger should just pick up his dribble at half court and sprint in for the dunk after shoving 3 guys down. It's the final 3 minutes, gotta let the players play, don't want the game determined by refs.

    Also, now in the 4th home teams will get 9 points for every made basket rather than 2. It's late in the game, let 'em play even if we are bending the rules.


    It makes me want to have a meltdown to hear idiotic statements like that. Maybe instead players can think "hey, it's late in the game and a STUPID play now would really cost my team, I should get my act together".

    Anyway, so that makes it tough for me to respect listening to Jeff Van Gundy now. He's almost starting to sound like an NBA shill.


    Oh yeah, SAS was/is a disaster. Sports Illustrated got that one 100% right. People used to let the content do the talking.
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 04-30-2009 at 11:57 AM.

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    Default Re: ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

    Quote Originally Posted by grace View Post
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    Bad topic. That would inevitably lead to a "Reggie should be the coach" debate where I would have to remind people that Reggie has said he has no desire to coach. Then that would morph into people arguing about whether Reggie is any good on TNT which would lead to a poll about announcers and comentators we love/hate.
    Now all we need is for a thread about Reggie coaching and my prediction will come true.

    I'm probaby repeating myself, but I don't mind Reggie at all. Mark Jackson and JVG on the other hand I won't watch. IMO they're beyond abismal (Jeff more so than Mark).

    Now that ESPN is getting rid of SAS I'm hoping they'll ax Skip Bayless next.

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    Default Re: ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

    I'm glad that I don't have to listen to one more comment by Bill Walton about how great the LA Kobe's or the Lebrons are. If I had to hear one more word out of his mouth while clinging to Kobe's or Lebron's jock, it would be one word too many.
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    Default Re: ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    Reggie is likable. But he says "here" or "there" in every sentence. And last night he actually said "don't play no cards". And besides the grammar mistakes which are in about every sentence - he doesn't say anything beyond the obvious - although he's better in a three man team - better with Fratello than he is by himself
    Emmitt Smith was fairly likable too, but he still stunk as a broadcaster (Debacled?). Of course most of us love Reggie, and I was in denial too, initially, but when he calls games, he sounds like he's forcing everything he says. Nothing he says seems fluid or natural. Not to mention what UB said about the grammar and obviousness. And I agree, he does much better in a three man team, no question.

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    Default Re: ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

    As annoying as Screaming A. is at least he was honest with his opinion or at least appeared that way I don't get that from others who obviously have agendas.

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    Default Re: ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

    I'm in the boat where I don't think Reggie is really close to a good commentator.

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    The New Gold Swagger travmil's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

    Quote Originally Posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
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    Tons of stuff about Jeff Van Gundy that I completely agree with....
    I absolutely HATE JVG and Mark Jackson being paired together. I think Mark Jackson is very good. I think JVG picks very stupid things to argue with him about. The other day during one of the Pistons/Cavs games, LeBron got a step on his man where you knew no matter what the defender did it was gonna be a monster tomahawk throwdown. The defender let him go. Why bother fouling when all he's gonna do is dunk it anyway AND get the free throw? Mark Jackson said exactly that and JVG jumped all over him like he had just advocated public executions at center court. I can't stand to listen to him.
    Last edited by travmil; 05-01-2009 at 12:57 AM.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

    I think Jeff Van Gundy is great - he points things out that I don't think about - I learn things when I watch a game he does. He's as good IMO as Collins and Hubie Brown. I think JVG is funny too

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    Default Re: ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

    Quote Originally Posted by Unclebuck View Post
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    I think Jeff Van Gundy is great - he points things out that I don't think about
    Yes, there aren't many people who wouldn't think to debate who is better dressed: Michael Curry or Mike Brown.

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    Administrator Unclebuck's Avatar
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    Default Re: ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

    Quote Originally Posted by grace View Post
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    Yes, there aren't many people who wouldn't think to debate who is better dressed: Michael Curry or Mike Brown.
    That was funny. I hope he's doing the game tonight

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    Default Re: ESPN's NBA coverage has really improved, (Stephen A. Smith out)

    Quote Originally Posted by grace View Post
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    I'm probaby repeating myself, but I don't mind Reggie at all. Mark Jackson and JVG on the other hand I won't watch. IMO they're beyond abismal (Jeff more so than Mark).
    I really can't stand Van Gundy but when he's with Mark Jackson the needle on the annoying-meter goes way past the red. When the two of them cover games together sometimes they sound like two silly high school kids in the lockerroom.

    Reggie is a little too reserved at times but he's usually very solid. He's really good at breaking down the replays. Doug Collins is the best on TNT right now and PJ Carlisimo is very good as well.

    Back on topic... ESPN's coverage has been very good during the playoffs and I sure don't miss Bill Walton or Screamin' A. Smith.
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    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
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