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Malika Andrews Hates NBA Bubble Comparisons To Prison

“As the bubble was beginning, Andrews mentioned that people joked with her about how her quarantine time was over and considering what has gone on in the United States, it was something that bothered her.”

Ricky Keeler

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After the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Finals Sunday night against the Miami Heat, the NBA bubble down in Walt Disney World officially came to a close. For 107 days, the NBA took on the tough task and it ended up being a success. 

One reporter who was down in Florida covering the action from the beginning to the end was ESPN’s Malika Andrews, who has become one of the rising stars in the industry. On the latest ESPN Daily with Pablo Torre, she talked to Torre before she left the bubble and when she got home to New York City and reflected on what life was like in Orlando and how it feels now that she’s back. 

During part of this podcast, she was joined by her producer, Malinda Adams, who was with Andrews for all 107 days in Orlando. As the bubble was beginning, Andrews mentioned that people joked with her about how her quarantine time was over and considering what has gone on in the United States, it was something that bothered her.

“When I first got here, there were a lot of folks who joked when you got out of quarantine, you served your time and that always bothered me mainly because when you look at prison systems in the United States, that has been a hot bed for Coronavirus in many cases and so they couldn’t be more different than the discomfort that folks who are incarcerated here in the United States are going through.”

Andrews and Adams had worked together before the bubble as Andrews said they worked together during the Eastern Conference Finals last season. However, when you are stuck in one place for a long period of time, that bond can continue to grow.

 That bond extended over to the people that Andrews and Adams were around daily inside of the bubble. While Andrews mentions that as a reporter, it is important to set boundaries with the people you cover, this experience, naturally, tended to be a little different. 

“I have long maintained that an important pillar of what we do is setting boundaries with the people you cover. I grow very fond of people I cover, but I try to make sure a friendship could never come between asking the necessary, hard questions that need to be asked. But, I do think there’s something bonding about this experience. Everyone became creatures of habit there and you got to know people’s quirks, habits, routines. We gave a hug to Heather in the mail room and Pam in the package room, people I never would have met.” 

Both of them reflected on their own memories of what went on in Orlando, but one moment stood out where Adams not only had to play producer, but she had to put on her reporter hat as well as the Bucks were about to boycott Game 5 of their first round series against the Magic.

“When the Milwaukee Bucks elected to boycott, it was Malinda who was following the Orlando Magic side of it because I could only be in one place. She was the one who was texting me, the Magic are on the court, they left the court. It was one of the things where she was a reporter down here,” said Andrews. 

So, now back in New York, what does Andrews think now about the NBA season not having a firm date for the 2021 season? She brought up there is some anxiety about no official date being mentioned yet.

“Well, part of the reason that I think there was a bittersweet feeling to the end of the bubble in addition to the fact there were many close relationships built, the fact that it was something that felt safe, I think the other thing that makes it a little bit sad and anxiety-provoking is that there isn’t a firm date for the restart of the season yet.”

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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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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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