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Jeremy Fowler Wants The NBA To Play In Rucker Park

“He didn’t want the NBA to draw inspiration from a basketball movie. He wanted the league to go back to the playground.”

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It is awful hard to find someone that wasn’t entertained by the show Major League Baseball put on with its Field of Dreams game on Thursday night. This morning on ESPN’s Get Up!, guest host Dan Graziano asked the panel to take the model and expand it to other sports. If they could see a special event type of game, what would they want?

ESPN’s Senior NFL writer Jeremy Fowler had an interesting answer. He didn’t want the NBA to draw inspiration from a basketball movie. He wanted the league to go back to the playground. He suggested that if the NBA wanted to create a buzz like Major League Baseball did on Thursday, it needs to stage a game at Rucker Park in New York City.

“I want to be there as LeBron James and the Lakers, Giannis, and all these guys get right off the subway and walk up to 155th Street,” he said.

Rucker Park is famous for its annual basketball tournament, which has been the subject of an Emmy-winning documentary and played a major role in the Kyrie Irvine movie Uncle Drew. The Park’s court is also where legends Julius Erving and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar grew up playing basketball.

In Jeremy Fowler’s mind, he’d not only like to see the NBA embrace the tournament style that Rucker Park is famous for. He also wants the game to feature “endless trash talk that’s not suitable for children.”

The easy one-to-one comparison with the Field of Dreams Game for the NBA would be to play a game in Hinkle Fieldhouse, where Hoosiers was filmed. The NBA tends to be a little more forward thinking though, so while they may want to recreate the excitement and novelty of MLB’s event, it is hard to imagine the league building a game around a movie that is 35 years old.

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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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