Sports TV News
Isiah Thomas Surprised By Jordan’s Last Dance Comments
“Thomas adds that there was no feud between him and Jordan even though Jordan alluded to one during the documentary.”
NBA legend and current TNT basketball analyst Isiah Thomas joined Marcellus Wiley and Jason Whitlock on Wednesday’s Speak For Yourself broadcast to discuss his impressions of ESPN’s The Last Dance documentary. During the interview, Thomas discussed his surprise over some of Michael Jordan’s comments, and how Jordan might have played a role in keeping him off of the 1992 Olympic Dream Team.
SFY co-host Whitlock posed the question to Thomas, “Michael Jordan has called you an asshole, said that he hates you, he has animus towards you for the lack of a handshake and a supposed lack of respect. We know how Michael Jordan feels about you. How do you feel about Michael Jordan?”
“I was shocked to hear that from him,” Thomas said of Jordan’s remarks. “His producers approached me and wanted me to be involved and I chose to. I did not know this was what was coming because he (Jordan) and I have been to dinner before and seen each other at different NBA functions and I never got any animosity or bad feelings from him toward me. I don’t have any bad feelings toward Michael Jordan nor have I ever had any bad feelings toward him. So my family and I were pretty surprised when we sat down to watch The Last Dance and hear those words come out of his mouth, especially following the apology I had given to him on national television.”
Thomas adds that there was no feud between him and Jordan even though Jordan alluded to one during the documentary.
“I’m going to call a timeout on the feud,” Thomas said. “Because really I wasn’t fighting him. I was winning all the time, well a majority of the time, so why am I mad at him? We were competitors and when you are winning most of the time, you ain’t mad at nobody. You’re happy.”
Wiley followed by asking Thomas if Jordan might have played a role in Thomas not being selected to represent the United States on the 1992 Olympic “Dream Team”.
“Up until The Last Dance, I didn’t think he did,” Thomas replied. “I took him at his word, but after listening to how he and Rod Thorn (the NBA executive who assembled The Dream Team) portrayed me, I kind of question it now. You have to. But up until last week, I had not laid that card on him (Jordan). The way they were talking about me though, in his words, having me around made him feel uncomfortable, you know?…”
Some of Jordan’s uneasiness toward Thomas may have come from the fact that Thomas was a member of the hard-nosed Detroit Piston’s teams of the late ‘80s that earned the infamous Bad Boys moniker. Thomas contends however that Jordan and his Chicago Bulls teammates of that era were just as hard–nosed.
“Those same labels that were put on the Pistons as a team, the Bulls put on each other,” Thomas said. “Watching the documentary, there seemed to be a lot of dysfunction or dislike within that team which I guess that speaks to how great a player Jordan was to overcome all that and still win championships.”
Jacob Conley writes about news/talk radio BNM. He can be found on Twitter @GWUJake or reach him by email at email@example.com.
Sports TV News
Neil Everett Exits ESPN After 23 Years
“ESPN changed my life, but now it’s time for me to change my life.”
Neil Everett’s SportsCenter days are over. Front Office Sports reports that the anchor has chosen to say goodbye to ESPN after 23 years at the network.
“ESPN changed my life, but now it’s time for me to change my life,” Everett said. “Time to write a new chapter.”
The network reportedly offered Everett a new deal. Had he agreed to it, the anchor would have taken a salary reduction.
This is a significant moment for SportsCenter. Everett moving on means one of the show’s longest-tenured partnership comes to an end. He had worked with Stan Verrett since 2009.
Everett’s exit comes in the same week that it was revealed Chris Chelios would not return to the network’s NHL coverage next season. The Walt Disney Company is currently in the middle of trying to cut 7000 jobs to save $5.5 billion.
As for the future, Everett says he will seek to increase his TV role with the Portland Trail Blazers. He has been part of the team’s broadcast crew on NBC Sports Northwest for the last two years.
Sports TV News
Chris ‘The Bear’ Fallica To Make FOX TV Debut on Belmont Coverage
“Everyone I’ve worked and interacted with at the company has been so helpful and open to someone who has spent his entire professional life elsewhere.”
As the college football season was winding down, fans found out one of the foundational members of the College Gameday staff would be leaving ESPN. Chris “The Bear” Fallica left the network and has been working for FOX since the new year. This weekend during the network’s coverage of The Belmont Stakes, he will finally make his TV debut for his employers.
“It’s been great. This will be my first TV appearance, so I’m excited,” Fallica said in an interview with FOXSports.com. “But we’ve been cranking out content on the digital side since January, and I’m very happy with how the USFL picks have been going (4-0 last week for those of you counting at home). Everyone I’ve worked and interacted with at the company has been so helpful and open to someone who has spent his entire professional life elsewhere.”
Fallica, who worked for ESPN for nearly three decades, is going to be a major presence in FOX’s gambling content both on air and online. Making picks is nothing new. He had been doing it on College GameDay for years prior to his exit.
In addition to making football picks, horse racing is going to be a major part of what The Bear does for FOX. While this will be his TV debut on FOX, Fallica put the spotlight on one of his colleagues.
“It was a great decision to bring Tom [Durkin] back for this call. His voice is synonymous with the sport for a generation of racing fans, so it will be a treat to hear him call a race again.”
Durbin is coming out of retirement to call the race. This is the first year that the Belmont is airing on FOX as part of a rights deal with the New York Racing Association.
Sports TV News
FOX Reportedly Considering Replacing Reggie Bush on Big Noon Kickoff
“Marchand writes that the favorite to replace the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner is the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner. Mark Ingram II is expected to retire from the NFL and join FOX.”
It looks like changes are coming to FOX’s college football coverage. Andrew Marchand reports that the network is considering replacing Reggie Bush on Big Noon Kickoff.
Bush and the network reportedly argued over money before the 2022 season. FOX kicked the tires on multiple options, including Desmond Howard and Robert Griffin III of ESPN. Eventually, it decided to bring Bush back on a one year deal. With that deal set to expire and the two sides again at an impasse, FOX is eyeing other options.
Marchand writes that the favorite to replace the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner is the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner. Mark Ingram II is expected to retire from the NFL and join FOX.
If Ingram does join the show, he would be the first analyst from outside of the conferences FOX carries. Ingram played his college football at Alabama. He has since amassed more than 8000 yards over 13 seasons in the NFL.
FOX declined to comment on the report. Marchand reports that with no deal finalized, there is an outside shot that Ingram returns to the NFL, Bush returns to FOX and there is no change at all. That, however, is considered a long shot.