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Boomer Esiason: ‘Charles Barkley Isn’t Being Fair To Kevin Durant’

“The guy that should be under the criticism prism is Kyrie Irvin and then of course Ben Simmons.”

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Kevin Durant has never been one to shrink in the face of criticism. He will go at fans on social media, who have no real influence, if they talk badly about him. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that when Charles Barkley started blaming Kevin Durant for the Celtics being able to sweep the Brooklyn Nets that Durant fired back.

Barkley said that Durant is “a bus rider” on great teams and not capable of being a voice of leadership. Durant fired back on social media posting photos of all of the stars that Charles Barkley teamed with in pursuit of a championship.

Wednesday morning, Boomer & Gio weighed in. Both members of the WFAN morning duo defended Durant’s prowess and standing as one of the NBA’s elite players. Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti followed it up in different ways though.

“If there’s any time to just be quiet on social media, it’s after you just had your ass handed to you in this series by the Boston Celtics,” Gionnatti said, insinuating that Durant isn’t doing himself any favors on social media.

Esiason turned the tables on Charles Barkley. He asked why the star of TNT’s Inside the NBA is so critical of Durant and not other Brooklyn Nets.

“I think Charles has got his eyes on the wrong guy,” Boomer Esiason said. “The guy that should be under the criticism prism is Kyrie Irvin and then of course Ben Simmons.”

Kevin Durant missed games during the season with an injury. Esiason notes that Irvin has a history of missing games for completely preventable reasons. That should be something Barkley and other critics are going after with just as much vigor as they are going after Durant right now.

“You know, Kyrie didn’t want to take his vaccine. Kyrie didn’t want to play last year. He disappeared on the team the year before that when Kevin wasn’t playing because he was hurt,” Boomer Esiason said. “You know, it is one thing to be critical of a player, and I don’t think it’s fair that Chuck would do that to Kevin Durant, because I’m a Kevin Durant fan. He wants to play. I believe he gives you maximum effort and they didn’t have an answer because the other guy on the floor looked like he didn’t even want to be there.”

Sports Radio News

Jonathan Zaslow No Longer With WQAM

An attempt to reach out to Zaslow for comment went unanswered.

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WQAM midday host Jonathan Zaslow is no longer with WQAM in Miami.

The radio station has removed his show from the website and references to him and his normal 10a-2p ET midday timeslot program have been scrubbed from the station website.

Zaslow tweeted at 5:19p ET confirming the news.

Whether or not this has any effect on his involvement with the Miami Heat broadcasts is unknown as of now.

Zaslow had been with 790 the Ticket since 2004. He was transitioned from Audacy-owned 790 to sister station AM 560 Sports WQAM last October. During his tenure he has worked with a number of established local voices including Joy Taylor, Amber Wilson, Brett Romberg, and Brendan Tobin amongst others.

WQAM has gone thru a number of changes, including a rebranding effort to call the station “560 The Joe”. That ended last year with the station returning to the AM 560 Sports WQAM brand listeners were more familiar with. What they have planned next in Zaslow’s timeslot is unclear but local listeners will likely get some answers next week.

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Sports Radio News

Vanessa Richardson Named Houston Rockets Sideline Reporter, Paul Gallant to Host Solo on ESPN 97.5

Vanessa Richardson will be on the sidelines for the Houston Rockets and Paul Gallant will host solo show on ESPN 97.5.

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Vanessa and Gallant

Changes are taking place in Houston sports media. First, the Houston Rockets will have a new television sideline reporter this season, and she’s a familiar name to Houston sports fans.

Vanessa Richardson, the now former co-host of ESPN 97.5’s Vanessa and Gallant, revealed that she will be on the sidelines for the NBA franchise covering the team for AT&T SportsNet Southwest.

She tweeted the news saying, “Elated to be the new Houston Rockets sideline reporter! I can’t wait to travel the country & share the stories of this dynamic team during 80+ games on AT&T SportsNet Southwest. I’ll continue to fill-in as a host/reporter for Astros broadcasts as well.”

Richardson’s co-host, Paul Gallant, tweeted that with Richardson leaving the show for the Rockets sideline gig, Vanessa and Gallant will become the Paul Gallant Show. The solo show led by Gallant begins Monday September 26th.

“We’re excited to have Paul host his own show”, said Todd Farquharson, General Manager of ESPN 97.5 & 92.5.  “He’s super creative, energetic, and likeable.  He’ll get the audience involved and have fun.”

Paul commented, “You know what I’ve always loved about sports talk radio?  That it’s interactive.  Whether through a phone call, text message, tweet or on Twitch, it’s the best place for sports fans to come together and celebrate…or vent.  And that’s what The Paul Gallant Show is going to be…Houston’s platform to talk about its teams. THE most interactive sports talk show in Houston.”

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Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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