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Jefferson is Prized NBA Broadcasting Free Agent

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Networks are lining up for the chance to talk to Richard Jefferson. The 17-year NBA veteran has had discussions with multiple teams about making a move to broadcasting and there are at least three suitors for his services.

YES has had talks with Jefferson about joining the network’s Brooklyn Nets coverage. Jefferson played his first seven seasons in the NBA with the then New Jersey Nets. The role the two sides have discussed is something of a studio/game analyst hybrid. Jefferson, if he accepts, would work part-time in each environment. Regardless of whatever decision Jefferson makes, YES intends to keep Sarah Kustok with Ian Eagle on its lead play-by-play team.

The Los Angeles Clippers are having to completely overhaul their television broadcasts this season. Bruce Bowen and the team parted ways after a disagreement over the way Bowen criticized Kawhi Leonard. Long time play-by-play man Ralph Lawler announced his retirement earlier this week. Jefferson is a leading candidate to take over as the Clippers’ color commentator despite never having played for the team.

ESPN has also had discussions with Richard Jefferson about his broadcasting future. He has done some part time work for ESPN in the past, appearing on The Jump. The World Wide Leader envisions a studio role for Jefferson that one official described to The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand as “a similar spot to Tim Legler”. It would allow him to appear on multiple shows including The Jump, SportsCenter, and Get Up!.

For all of the interest in Jefferson becoming a broadcaster, Jefferson himself may not be on board. He told Marchand that he is planning to play an 18th season in the NBA.

“I’m a basketball player until I am not a basketball player,” Jefferson told The Post. “My goal is to play basketball this season.”

Richard Jefferson spent last season as a member of the Denver Nuggets.

As a broadcaster, Jefferson’s biggest moment may have come in podcasting. It was on the show he did with former Cleveland teammate Channing Frye where Kyrie Irving admitted he believed the Earth is flat.

Sports TV News

FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts

“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

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FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.

“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.

“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”

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Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC

“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”

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Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.

“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”

Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.

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Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”

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FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.

The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.

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