The NBA will relocate to Walt Disney World next month, where 22 teams are set to finish the season. The games will start at the Wide World of Sports complex on July 31. Players, their families, and team staffs will be quarantined to a few hotels and likely will not be allowed to visit the theme parks, which will have re-opened by that time.
Players and coaches knew from the moment this plan started being discussed that it would require quarantine. Reporters probably suspected the same would be true for them, although that is just becoming public knowledge.
The Daily Beast obtained a memo from The Professional Basketball Writers Association that says a select group of reporters will have to agree to be quarantined in the Most Magical Place on Earth for up to 3 and a half months if they want to cover the remainder of the NBA season. If any of those reporters exit the quarantine, there will be no option for them to re-enter.
Robert Silverman of The Daily Beast cites an email sent by PBWA President Josh Robbins titled “an off-the-record communication not to be reported on in any form,” so good job by Robbins and shame on whoever leaked it to him, I guess.
In the email, Robbins writes that the press will be divided into “two tiers.” A smaller first tier “will have the most access, but will work under far greater restrictions than we are used to under normal conditions.” This will be the group that cannot re-enter if they break quarantine.
One interesting thing to note in Robbins’s memo is that the price is going to be high for anyone that wants to cover the games. The NBA will feed the press corps in the first tier, but housing will not be covered by the league nor by Walt Disney World. Robbins acknowledges that it is “cost-prohibitive for most outlets” and notes that is why a second tier exists.
Reporters in the second tier would be allowed to attend the games in person. They would be prohibited from having face-to-face interactions with any players, staff, or coaches. They also would not be allowed to venture onto the Wide World of Sports campus or larger resort.
Robbins acknowledges that many smaller outlets will be shut out from first tier access, if not from the proceedings entirely. He says that he is still negotiating with the NBA for some kind of alternative access, “but this is a uniquely challenging situation. The league’s primary primary mandate is to minimize the risk of any players or team personnel contracting the virus.”
Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set
“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”
Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.
The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.
Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.
“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”
Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.
Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.
Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.
Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock
“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”
Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.
According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.
Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.
The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.
The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.
Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast
“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’
First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.
No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.
Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.
McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.
“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.”
In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.
There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.