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Bomani Jones Says NBA Deserves Scrutiny, Leeway In Season Restart

“Throughout this segment, Jones did bring up the importance of balance whenever social issues come up in sports.”

Ricky Keeler

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We are about two weeks away from the start of the NBA season when the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans will square off in Orlando, Florida (6:30 p.m ET, TNT). While the spotlight will be on the games itself, a lot of people in the sports media industry are going to pay close attention to how these games are televised and produced.

On the latest episode of The Right Time with Bomani Jones, Jones spent a segment talking about how the NBA games need to be treated with the same level of scrutiny as a television show and how it is ironic that he is saying this.

“In the end, what they are producing is a television show. These basketball games are a television show and you got to figure it out with this emphasis on these matters and how to make a good television show around that,” said Jones referring to the emphasis that is put on Black Lives Matter.

“You cannot be in a situation if you are the league where an adherence to amplifying the cause becomes bigger than the television show itself. That’s not going to work. That’s going to be a problem.”

There is a lot of uncertainty as to how the NBA will incorporate addressing social issues during the game itself. While Jones said he did not know the middle ground, he did say that they need to keep the larger cause in mind when thinking about what they want to do.

“I hope the NBA is careful in the way they do it. I don’t know the middle ground. Where is the space that is effective, but is not corny overkill. They need to be concerned about this if they are really concerned about the larger cause in the way that they say…This is ambitious what they are saying what they want to do. I will give them grace if they get it wrong. I don’t need to slam them for getting it wrong, but you have to get it right.”

Throughout this segment, Jones did bring up the importance of balance whenever social issues come up in sports. He mentioned how when discussing what to talk about, he does realize that just because someone agrees with him on an issue, that does not mean it should be talked about all the time.

“We can’t come out here running an NPR program. You as a listener, even those of you who agree with me on a lot of these matters, you are not sticking around for that all the time. That’s not what you want.” 

Jones did bring up a good example of that balance when he talked about when he was co-hosting High Noon with Pablo Torre. When they were planning out a topic on social issues, Jones knew that the content was important to get the viewer to stay with the program.

“If we want to go here, we can’t be a little bit good. We have to be very good or great if we are going to go in these directions. I have to feel very confident that it is a piece of content that is worthwhile and that will stick with you. That’s what I feel about the NBA.”

The NBA is going to be under the microscope for many different reasons if the season does start on time and the eye of the viewer will not only be on the product on the court, but also how the game is produced and televised since there will be no fans at the game in-person. 

Sports TV News

Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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Ryan Clark, Mad Dog Get Into Heated Argument on ‘First Take’

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

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Former Pittsburgh Steeler, and current ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark and recent Radio Hall of Fame inductee Chris “Mad Dog” Russo squared off on Monday’s edition of First Take, with a heated exchange taking place between the two.

After a discussion about Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas meandered into a discussion about whether Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp would be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he never played another game, Clark said about Hall of Fame voters “they must be voting like you (Russo) vote for the Heisman, where you just vote on whoever the hell you want based off the fact that they play quarterback”.

Russo quickly took exception to the perceived slight.

“Ryan, hold on now,” Russo said, in a louder manner than normal. “You said something, now I’m going to comment. I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born.”

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

“You said something that wasn’t right,” Russo said.

“Lower your voice,” the former Steeler interrupted again.

“I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born,” Mad Dog reiterated, with a lower volume. “30 years.”

“I don’t care about that,” Clark rebutted.

“You’re saying I’m voting for the Heisman and saying I don’t deserve a vote. I’ve been voting for 30 years!”, Russo began to raise his voice again.

“I never said you don’t deserve a vote,” Clark replied before clarifying he disagrees with Russo’s sentiment about the college football award being only awarded to quarterbacks.

It’s not the first time Russo has clashed with First Take contributors. A discussion with J.J. Reddick went viral earlier this year after Reddick told Russo previous NBA players played with “plumbers and firefighters”.

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Sports TV News

Todd Frazier Joining ESPN Little League World Series Booth

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

Ricky Keeler

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When people talk about 11-year MLB veteran Todd Frazier, some of the things that are usually mentioned on broadcasts usually is that he is from Toms River, New Jersey and that he played in the Little League World Series in 1998 (won the championship). Now, Frazier will have a bigger connection to the annual event in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

As first reported by Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati EnquirerFrazier will be in the TV booth (remotely) for ESPN for this year’s Little League World Series. He made his broadcast debut on Monday morning during one of the New England region semifinals between Maine and Massachusetts. 

Frazier told Nightengale that he wants to use this event to begin his second career in the broadcasting industry.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, especially for the Little League World Series since I’ve been a part of it. I know it and understand it really well. Kind of kickstart my second career here.” 

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

The Little League World Series begins on Wednesday, August 17 and ends on Sunday, August 28. It will be broadcasted on ESPN and ABC.  

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