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Stephen A Smith Calls NBA Players ‘Soft As Putty’



With The Last Dance documentary airing early on ESPN during the Coronavirus pandemic, it has opened up the debate on the mentality of 1990s NBA players against the players of today. 

On Wednesday, that discussion was continued on Get Up when Stephen A Smith talked about the way some of the players in the NBA interact with the media on a night-in, night-out basis and referred to some NBA players as soft as putty: 

This quote was part of an interesting discussion between Smith and Jalen Rose moderated by Mike Greenberg about how today’s players would do in the era of basketball where Michael Jordan won 6 NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls. Rose was a part of the 1998 Indiana Pacers squad that forced the Bulls to a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals that season. 

You don’t get the full exchange in the video, but the conversation further dove into how much social media has played a factor in the generational divide for players in this era compared to the 90’s. Remember, today’s players have to deal with criticism constantly as the 24/7, 365 media cycle keeps churning along. 

Before Smith gave the soft as putty comment, Rose talked about how social media can play a factor for today’s athlete: 

“Having multimedia and social and all of these different platforms that your family, friends, staff, managers, agents have access to the information that is said about you, they become instigators in their own way,” Rose said. “Did you see what such and such said about you, wrote about you, posted about you? Now it’s almost like I got to defend myself and you forget you are a professional and it becomes a part of what you do for a living and why you make the big bucks.”

It’s safe to say that whenever you hear Stephen A Smith speak, you are going to get the passion and information in any topic he talks about, as headlined in Demetri Ravanos’ article on what we can learn from Smith earlier this week here at Barrett Sports Media. In addition to that, he can throw advice in there to help others as well: 

“To the players themselves, do what you can to cultivate relationships with people that you would like to disseminate your message as opposed to relaying on your hanger-ons who no one in the media will trust anyway,” said Smith on Get Up.  

“To the media, be fair, be human, and outside of that don’t give a damn about what anyone has to say. Move on. Period. I do it everyday and I do it quite well.” 

This topic is one that ESPN could do a whole hour on and cover all sports, but it was good to see a former athlete and a prominent media member talk about the contrasts in era while also trying to help today’s players in the process.

Story provided by BSM contributor Ricky Keeler. Follow him on Twitter @Rickinator555.

Sports TV News

Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set

“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”



TNT/Larry Brown Sports

Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.

The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.

Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.

“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”

Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.

Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.

Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.

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Sports TV News

Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock

“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”



Rich Eisen Show

Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.

According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.

Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.

The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.

The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.

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Sports TV News

Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast

“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’



First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.

No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.

Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.

McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.

“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.” 

In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.

There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.

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