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Scalabrine a Natural For Broadcasting

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Brian Scalabrine pushes aside a crab salad and reclines into his wooden chair. In the back corner of the Will McDonough press room, deep inside the underground tunnels of TD Garden, he’s wearing a carolina blue dress shirt with a floral pattern imprinted around the collar. The jacket of Scalabrine’s navy suit is draped over the back of his seat.

The Boston Celtics’ road color commentator runs a huge, pale hand through his fire-red hair as he remembers his debut NBA broadcast.

“I was in Turkey and they were playing Fenerbahce and luckily they ran a ball-dominant offense with Bo McCalebb, because I couldn’t pronounce anybody else’s name on the team,” Scalabrine says with a throaty chuckle. “So, if Bo came off the pick-and-roll and threw back to somebody and [they] shot it, ‘Man what a great pass by Bo!’ If Bo was on the bench and they made a bucket I would say, ‘You know, that all started with Bo McCalebb breaking down the defense and getting that guy a wide open shot.’ It was great, navigating through how many different ways I could say Bo McCalebb.”

That overseas odyssey was three years ago. One of the biggest NBA personalities of the last decade, Scalabrine has now settled in at Comcast Sportsnet. “He’s a fun guy. He’s a very high-energy person and he’s got a zest for life,” says Tommy Heinsohn, the former Celtics head coach and longtime color analyst.

Scalabrine went viral during an in-studio appearance for FOX Sports 1 last December, when he recalled a legendary story of Kevin Garnett defeating Glen Davis in an arm wrestling match on the team plane. As a result of his recent success, Scalabrine will begin an online video series with Yahoo! Sports dubbed, “The White Mamba Minute.”

“Some of it’s fun. Some of it’s going to be informative. They really buy into my personality,” Scalabrine says. One of the first videos features Scalabrine arguing that elite NBA superstars actually aren’t paid enough. There will be a running gambit called, “The Prestigious Redhead of the Week.” “Blake Griffin wins it every week,” Scalabrine cracks. “And then Matt Bonner wins it one time. So I’ll be like, ‘Let’s update our scoreboard! The update is: Blake Griffin, 36 weeks in a row; and, Matt Bonner… still at zero! Back to you guys!’”

“He’s a great storyteller,” Bonner says. “A really funny, great personality.”

During CSN’s live coverage of this past June’s NBA draft, after the Celtics selected Georgia State sharpshooter R.J. Hunter with the 28th overall pick, the 6’9”​Scalabrine contorted his large frame into an arm wave dance before high-fiving the broadcaster to his left.

“That’s ‘Scal,’” Scalabrine says. “That guy is made up. ‘Scal’ didn’t exist in 2001.”

Scalabrine officially joined the network before the 2014–​15 season, announcing his commitment to CSN in a hilarious mimic of LeBron James’s Sports Illustrated essay. “I piggyback off of major super stars,” Scalabrine says. “Once LeBron came out with that picture, it was done.”

His foray into broadcasting came only after Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers offered Scalabrine an interview for Steve Kerr’s coaching staff. Scalabrine was the only member of Mark Jackson’s staff that Myers asked to return. “I didn’t want to be that guy where it’s like, ‘You threw him under the bus or sold him out or any of that stuff,’” Scalabrine says. “I just wanted a clean break.”

Scalabrine officially joined the network before the 2014–​15 season, announcing his commitment to CSN in a hilarious mimic of LeBron James’s Sports Illustrated essay. “I piggyback off of major super stars,” Scalabrine says. “Once LeBron came out with that picture, it was done.”

His foray into broadcasting came only after Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers offered Scalabrine an interview for Steve Kerr’s coaching staff. Scalabrine was the only member of Mark Jackson’s staff that Myers asked to return. “I didn’t want to be that guy where it’s like, ‘You threw him under the bus or sold him out or any of that stuff,’” Scalabrine says. “I just wanted a clean break.”

To read the full article visit Sports Illustrated where it was originally published

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Peter King: ‘Tom Brady Needs To Study Cris Collinsworth’

“He’ll know that to be good, he has to get out of his comfort zone of all niceties and tell it like it is.”

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Peter King dedicated a not-insignificant portion of his “Football Morning in America” column this week to advice for Tom Brady. FOX announced last week that the Buccaneers’ quarterback will become the network’s lead NFL analyst upon his retirement.

Brady’s decision and his reported salary have been the source of much speculation and prediction amongst his soon-to-be colleagues.

King is optimistic that Tom Brady will be entertaining and informative when he makes his FOX debut. He did offer the GOAT a little bit of advice about what he should be doing in the months leading up to calling it quits on his playing days and starting his new career.

“I think what I’d do if I were Brady is study Cris Collinsworth—and honest to goodness, I don’t say that because I work for NBC,” he wrote. “I say it because Collinsworth knows how to talk X’s-and-O’s conversationally, he’s an easy listen, and he can criticize when the time comes.”

Interestingly, last week, Collinsworth says he hears from most former players that are getting ready to make the jump to broadcasting. He was surprised he never heard from Tom Brady before FOX announced their deal.

King had two other suggestions. The first was that Brady watch multiple games from start to finish so that he can hear what the give-and-take between a broadcaster and analyst sounds like. The other is that he has to commit to being interesting and not censoring himself. King has faith that Brady will be able to do that.

“He’ll know that to be good, he has to get out of his comfort zone of all niceties and tell it like it is. On that LeBron James show last year, Brady said, ‘Ninety percent of what I say is not what I’m thinking. There’s a part of me that doesn’t like conflict, so in the end I always just try to play it super-flat.’ That has to end once he’s on TV if he wants to be any good.”

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Nick Wright Critical Of ABC Crew As Giannis Antetokounmpo Struggles In Game 7

“He reminded his followers on Twitter that the two-time MVP has put together some amazing performances in this series.”

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Giannis Antetokounmpo started hot in Game 7 on Sunday. By the time the game ended though, the Boston Celtics were on their way to Miami for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals and the defending champions were headed back to Milwaukee.

The Celtics’ defense gave the Milwaukee Bucks fits in the second half. The ABC broadcast put a special spotlight on Antetokounmpo, who got multiple drives to the basket that he could not finish.

“The best has got to show up when the best is needed, and Giannis has been disappointing,” said Mark Jackson over a package of highlights of Giannis missing shots. “As great of a player as he is, given credit to the Celtics’ defense, but he has struggled offensively time and time again.”

Nick Wright of FS1 noticed and he didn’t appreciate it. He reminded his followers on Twitter that the two-time MVP has put together some amazing performances in this series.

Mike Been, Mark Jackson, and Jeff Van Gundy were not particularly hard on Giannis. The trio made the typical comments we hear when things aren’t going a great player’s way.

Wright did not harp on the issue beyond the single tweet. The outcome was not in doubt as the clock winded down. He gave credit to the Celtics rather than tweet about the Bucks or Giannis.

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Stephanie McMahon: WWE Is A Better Advertising Investment Than Sports

“We can script the buzzer-beater moments, we can script the Hail Marys.”

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Everyone knows that professional wrestling is scripted. The storylines, the outcomes of matches, all of it is predetermined. But in the eyes of WWE, that’s what makes their product so different, and better than traditional sports.

WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon told Deadline that when it comes to pitching advertisers, sports entertainment allows room for a range of different approaches to make something work.

“We can script the buzzer-beater moments, we can script the Hail Marys,” she said. “We have a leg up on sports. … You may object to what we do, but you’re never going to be bored.”

McMahon added that WWE has a much easier process in dealing with sponsors. Everything is handled in-house.

“We own all of the IP,” she said. “When brands deal with us, they just deal with us. We create something together.”

WWE is coming off a positive Q1 earnings report, which had the company up 27% in total revenue. Its two weekly primetime shows, Monday Night RAW and Friday Night SmackDown, continue to do well in ratings, and all special and pay-per-view events, in addition to its streaming platform WWE Network, are all housed on Peacock.

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