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Isiah Thomas Surprised By Jordan’s Last Dance Comments

“Thomas adds that there was no feud between him and Jordan even though Jordan alluded to one during the documentary.”

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NBA legend and current TNT basketball analyst Isiah Thomas joined Marcellus Wiley and Jason Whitlock on Wednesday’s Speak For Yourself broadcast to discuss his impressions of ESPN’s The Last Dance documentary. During the interview, Thomas discussed his surprise over some of Michael Jordan’s comments, and how Jordan might have played a role in keeping him off of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team.

SFY co-host Whitlock posed the question to Thomas, “Michael Jordan has called you an asshole, said that he hates you, he has animus towards you for the lack of a handshake and a supposed lack of respect. We know how Michael Jordan feels about you. How do you feel about Michael Jordan?”

“I was shocked to hear that from him,” Thomas said of Jordan’s remarks. “His producers approached me and wanted me to be involved and I chose to. I did not know this was what was coming because he (Jordan) and I have been to dinner before and seen each other at different NBA functions and I never got any animosity or bad feelings from him toward me. I don’t have any bad feelings toward Michael Jordan nor have I ever had any bad feelings toward him. So my family and I were pretty surprised when we sat down to watch The Last Dance and hear those words come out of his mouth, especially following the apology I had given to him on national television.”

Thomas adds that there was no feud between him and Jordan even though Jordan alluded to one during the documentary.

“I’m going to call a timeout on the feud,” Thomas said. “Because really I wasn’t fighting him. I was winning all the time, well a majority of the time, so why am I mad at him? We were competitors and when you are winning most of the time, you ain’t mad at nobody. You’re happy.”

Wiley followed by asking Thomas if Jordan might have played a role in Thomas not being selected to represent the United States on the 1992 Olympic “Dream Team”.

“Up until The Last Dance, I didn’t think he did,” Thomas replied. “I took him at his word, but after listening to how he and Rod Thorn (the NBA executive who assembled The Dream Team) portrayed me, I kind of question it now. You have to.  But up until last week, I had not laid that card on him (Jordan). The way they were talking about me though, in his words, having me around made him feel uncomfortable, you know?…”

Some of Jordan’s uneasiness toward Thomas may have come from the fact that Thomas was a member of the hard-nosed Detroit Piston’s teams of the late ‘80s that earned the infamous Bad Boys moniker. Thomas contends however that Jordan and his Chicago Bulls teammates of that era were just as hard–nosed.

“Those same labels that were put on the Pistons as a team, the Bulls put on each other,” Thomas said. “Watching the documentary, there seemed to be a lot of dysfunction or dislike within that team which I guess that speaks to how great a player Jordan was to overcome all that and still win championships.”

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Poll Data Shows Tepid Response To Tom Brady Joining FOX

“A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.”

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FOX Sports reportedly signed Tom Brady to a 10-year deal worth $375 million to make the seven-time Super Bowl champion the new lead analyst for its top NFL broadcast once his playing career is over.

A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Front Office Sports showed that 1 in 3 Americans are more likely to watch a game with Brady on the microphone.

The poll said 2 in 5 NFL fans have a better opinion of FOX Sports following the deal, with 41% of NFL fans being at least somewhat more likely to watch a game with Brady as an analyst.

Data shows one-third of NFL fans think the deal Brady reportedly agreed to is worth about the same as its reported value.

That reaction could probably be described as “tepid”. That may be exactly what FOX expects and maybe all it wants.

Last week, Domonique Foxworth of ESPN suggested that the paycheck is less about what the network thinks Tom Brady means to viewers and more about showing the NFL that the network values its product.

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FOX Not Interested In Joining Streaming Sports Wars

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take?”

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The CEO of FOX doesn’t plan on forking over billions of dollars to be people’s last choice for paid streaming services.

Lachlan Murdoch said at a time when more than 80% of American homes already have some kind of paid streaming service, it’s not worthwhile to jump on that train.

Amazon, Netflix and Disney+ typically account for the average streaming presence in a household.

“All this fight that’s going on, sort of gladiatorial kind of bloodshed, is really for that last position, right, in the three to four services that people will take,” Murdoch said at a tech conference earlier this year. “And so the billions of dollars that’s being spent by multiple aspirants is all for that last position. And so we are extraordinarily — I want to say that — we’re happy to be sort of sitting on the sidelines.”

Murdoch told Benjamin Swinburne that when it comes to the NFL, FOX’s media rights are the same as CBS, NBC and ESPN. The main focus for the company remains on keeping games on TV.

“We don’t believe it helps us to put those rights under a streaming service or free on over-the-air. We think it’s very important that those rights remain exclusive to the broadcast environment,” Murdoch said.

FOX does stream games through its app, but it is only the games it is also carrying on its broadcast network or FS1.

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NBA Draft To Get Simulcast From ESPN & ABC

“This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.”

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ESPN is set for the 2022 NBA Draft coming up on June 23 at 8 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The network announced Wednesday the crews that will handle coverage on both ESPN and ABC.

ABC will broadcast the first round in primetime. Kevin Negandhi will host and will be joined by Stephen A. Smith, Chiney Ogwumike and Jalen Rose. Monica McNutt will be reporting and interviewing draftees.

This follows the simulcast model ESPN and ABC have employed for several years with the NFL Draft.

Malika Andrews will host both rounds for ESPN. Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins and Adrian Wojnarowski will share the set. Analysts Bobby Marks and Mike Schmitz will contribute.

“We’re thrilled that Malika Andrews will host this year’s ESPN presentation as she brings her well-documented, widespread skillset to our main set,” said David Roberts, head of NBA and Studio Production for ESPN. “The event will showcase the scope and depth of our NBA and college basketball talent roster with accomplished journalists and high-profile personalities across ESPN, ABC and ESPN Radio.”

ESPN will air a pre-draft red carpet show hosted by Cassidy Hubbarth from 5-6 p.m. Perkins and Richard Jefferson will also make appearances.

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