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Max Kellerman: Chris Paul’s Legacy Is On The Line

Host of First Take on ESPN Max Kellerman said on Monday he believes the Suns-Lakers series outcome is vital for Chris Paul.

MIchael Quirk

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Co-host of ESPN’s First Take Max Kellerman used his platform on Monday to pontificate upon the legacy of Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul. While the premise is something of a pillar of “embrace debate” television and radio, Kellerman’s take on Paul made waves. He pointed out that Paul has only been to a conference title series once, but said he can take a jump in terms of respect if he defeats the Los Angeles Lakers.

“He has a chance this year,” he said. “If he beats the Lakers, who is going to stop them, Denver or Portland?

“He has a shot to do something on a Chris Paul team. Devin Booker is great, but Chris Paul is leading the team. He has a chance to elevate his stature among the all-time greats.”

Paul has played parts of 16 seasons with the Suns, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, and New Orleans Hornets. He was famously traded to the Lakers in 2011 only for the late NBA commissioner David Stern to nix the deal as he felt the Hornets were better off with Paul as to without. The current series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 set for Monday at 10 p.m. EST.

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After Losing Out On Big Ten Rights, ESPN Turns Focus to NCAA Championships

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024.

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After reportedly losing out on the Big Ten’s television rights, ESPN is reportedly turning to securing the NCAA Championship rights from hitting the open market.

According to Front Office Sports, ESPN’s contract for 29 NCAA Championships ends in 2024. Those 29 championships include everything from Women’s basketball to ice hockey, wrestling, softball, and baseball. The network pays a reported $34 million for the rights to broadcast those championship events.

However, according to a study commissioned by the NCAA reveals that the women’s basketball tournament could be worth anywhere from $81 million to $112 million per year by its lonesome. The NCAA is reportedly considering selling the women’s basketball tournament rights as a standalone product in the next negotiation.

Sources told Front Office Sports ESPN remains interested in striking deals with the Pac-12 and Big 12 media rights, as well as renewing a deal for the College Football Playoff.

The news comes after Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported ESPN declined a final offer from the Big Ten for a portion of the conference’s media rights. The reported deal was seven years and $380 million per year.

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ESPN Announces The Return of Stephen A. Smith to First Take

ESPN announced Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th.

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Stephen A. Smith

First Take has been without it’s anchor since the day after the NBA Draft in June. That’s when the ESPN personality took some time off to undergo shoulder surgery and to rehabilitate. However, it appears the wait for his return is almost over.

ESPN announced with a tweet that Smith will be returning to First Take on Monday, August 15th. They also teased a guest appearance from Michael Irvin.

This comes a day after Smith tweeted that the countdown was on for his return and we are one week away from the event.

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Field Yates Re-Ups With ESPN

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

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Field Yates

After the departure of Matthew Berry to NBC, ESPN has locked down fantasy expert Field Yates with a new contract to remain in Bristol.

Yates, 35, would have been a valuable target for FanDuel or DraftKings, surmises Andrew Marchand of The New York Post — who first reported the news — due to his large following on Twitter.

Yates, who also works as a host of Fantasy Football Now and NFL Insider for the network, across multiple platforms including ESPN Radio, will continue in those roles in addition to an assumed expansion of fantasy football duties after Berry’s exit.

He has worked for ESPN since 2012.

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