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Elle Duncan Tells WEEI She Left Boston Because Of Racism

“From 2014 – 2016, Duncan worked as an anchor, reporter and host for NESN, but as her contract came to a close, she already made the decision to leave Boston even without an offer from ESPN.”

Brandon Contes

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Less than a week after Michael Wilbon cited an interview with Dale & Keefe as one reason he no longer goes on Boston sports radio station WEEI as a guest, ESPN’s Elle Duncan joined the same show to discuss the racism she experienced during her time working and living in the city. 

From 2014 – 2016, Duncan worked as an anchor, reporter and host for NESN, but as her contract came to a close, she made the decision to leave Boston even without an offer from ESPN. Last week, when Wilbon addressed instances of racism at Fenway Park, Duncan responded on Twitter that she chose unemployment over working in Boston, “because of the hate and racism” there.

“It was a lot, I’m not going to lie,” Duncan told WEEI’s midday show hosts Dale Arnold and Rich Keefe. 

“We certainly were no strangers to micro-aggressions, some aggressions, what racism looked like or what it felt like,’’ Duncan said. “But in Boston we experienced it at a rate that at some point we had to start laughing about it, saying it’s almost like movie-script racism.”

While accounts of racism in Boston is not a new topic, it’s been highlighted after the Red Sox publicly released a statement acknowledging Torii Hunter’s detail of racial abuse suffered at Fenway Park as “real.” The Red Sox admission of racial incidents that occur at Fenway was viewed by many as an important step in building toward social equality, similar to NASCAR finally issuing a ban on the Confederate flag. 

“No one wants to be accused of being a city filled with racists,” Duncan said on WEEI. “I fully understand that, but what I would say to you is, how can we all be lying? How can Adam Jones and Mike Wilbon and me and Torii Hunter and the countless other African Americans who have said they’ve experienced this issue in Boston, how can we all be wrong? Why would we lie about that? I certainly wouldn’t lie and welcome what my mentions have looked like over the last couple days.”

“All of us have just happened to come across the same handful of racists? Come on, guys. Does that seem more plausible than the fact that maybe there’s an issue there? Maybe it’s not the most welcoming place? And while there’s so many incredible and amazing people that live in Boston, there’s enough that give it this reputation.”

During the interview, Duncan detailed multiple incidents of racial abuse she and her husband experienced during their time in Boston.  

Boston Globe media reporter Chad Finn supported Duncan’s admission that she chose unemployment over remaining with NESN in 2016. According to Finn, her contract with the network expired in April 2016, but throughout the five months prior, she continuously declined offers to stay with NESN even without having a new job lined up. 

“It was painful. I don’t like reliving this,” Duncan told Dale and Keefe. “It was a terrible time for me and my husband honestly. It sucked. I don’t want to have to be on here and defending myself to people. But I think we’ve moved into a time in this country where people more than ever are listening.”

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Tom Crean Added to SiriusXM NBA Draft Coverage

The former Marquette, Indiana, and Georgia men’s basketball coach will co-host SiriusXM’s NBA Draft Preview Show, alongside Eddie Johnson and Justin Termine.

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NBA Draft logo, SiriusXM logo and a photo of Tom Crean

The 78th edition of the NBA Draft will be the first to be held over two days. The first round will take place on Wednesday June 26 and will be followed by the second round on Thursday June 27. The draft will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. SiriusXM will provide full coverage on SiriusXM NBA Radio channel 86, and they have announced Tom Crean will take part in a preview show prior to each round.

The former Marquette, Indiana, and Georgia men’s basketball coach will co-host SiriusXM’s NBA Draft Preview Show, alongside Eddie Johnson and Justin Termine, on Tuesday, June 25 on Wednesday, June 26 prior to Round 1 at 4 p.m. ET, and on Thursday, June 27, prior to Round 2 at 2 p.m. ET.

Crean returned to ESPN as a college basketball analyst in December 2022 after having worked for them previously during the 2017-2018 season. Crean was fired after four seasons at Georgia, prior to his ESPN return.

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Dan Woike: ‘I Can’t Imagine’ JJ Redick and LeBron James Podcast Will Continue

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JJ Redick
Courtesy: Phil Ellsworth, ESPN Images

Following the conclusion of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks, JJ Redick has reportedly agreed to a contract to serve as the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Redick, who recently broadcast the best-of-seven series for ESPN on ABC with play-by-play announcer Mike Breen, analyst Doris Burke and reporter Lisa Salters, is reportedly in the process of compiling his coaching staff for his first season leading the Lakers. Although Redick does not have any NBA coaching experience, he played 15 seasons in the league with six teams and has been an analyst for ESPN over parts of the last four years. Outside of his work with ESPN, Redick also built his ThreeFourTwo Productions company and co-hosted The Old Man and the Three podcast.

This past March, Redick launched a new podcast with Lakers forward and four-time NBA champion LeBron James titled Mind the Game. Episodes of the show contained nuanced basketball discussions that some people feel gave Redick an inherent edge in the head coaching search. Dan Patrick recently had Dan Woike, Lakers beat writer for the Los Angeles Times, on his program, the Dan Patrick Show, and asked about the future of the podcast with James.

“I can’t imagine it’s going to continue,” Woike said. “Sad, right? We might get a season finale episode…. Who knows what’s going to happen here.”

Woike spoke about Redick’s eclectic interests that include basketball, broadcasting, golf, wine and fancy suits. Part of this transition that Woike will be watching is how Redick makes the adjustments and focuses the energy that he has. The organization, he stated, is not hiring a podcaster and believes that Redick has an aptitude and shrewdness towards basketball and is serious about the endeavor. While Redick and James have a good relationship with strong rapport, it is relatively new and something Woike perceives as critical to everything going on. Nonetheless, he does not think they can continue the show because it would be an “unnecessary distraction” to the team.

“They’re paying him to coach, they’re not paying him to podcast,” Woike said. “His divestment from his podcast empire is sort of an interesting media side-note to this to see kind of how much he steps back and kind of what happens to it because it’s been really successful for him.”

Rather than asking him another question, Patrick presented Woike with a sentence and asked him to complete it. The statement was, “If he doesn’t have the podcast with LeBron…,” and Woike proceeded to outline that the Lakers would then have more questions about his ability to coach James. Patrick then immediately followed up by asking if he still would have landed the Lakers’ head coaching job if he did not have the podcast, to which Woike replied that he believed it would still be possible. Former Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski was reportedly advising the organization throughout its head coaching search, and Redick previously played for him at the university.

Woike referenced a specific clip from the podcast in which Redick and James were discussing analytics and three-point shooting. At one point, James pushed back against the analytics by asking what would happen if a team missed 27 straight three-point shots, as the Houston Rockets did in Game 7 of the 2018 Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Redick quickly replied by asking if it had happened since, leading James to admit that he was right.

“Now how that plays in the locker room at halftime when you’re down 17 to the Charlotte Hornets and everybody’s tired, who knows,” Woike said. “That is a huge question, but I think, to be quite fair, there was going to be elements of question with that with Dan Hurley too.”

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ESPN LA 710 Announces New Fall Lineup

This follows announcements made earlier in the week which saw play-by-play partnerships added with USC and the LA Kings and a new contract for afternoon show co-host Scott Kaplan.

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Logo for ESPN LA 710 and a graphic for their new fall lineup
Graphic Courtesy: ESPN LA 710

ESPN LA 710 announced more news today, introducing a new lineup which will start on Monday, September 9. This follows announcements made earlier in the week which saw play-by-play partnerships added with USC and the LA Kings and a new contract for afternoon show co-host Scott Kaplan.

The new lineup will see morning drive start with Mike Greenberg’s Greeny , followed by Travis Rodgers and Allen Sliwa moving back an hour to start at 9a PT. Steve Mason and John Ireland will then air from 12p to 3p PT followed by the afternoon team of Jorge Sedano and Scott Kaplan moving to 3p-6p PT.

In addition to USC and the Kings, the station has play-by-play agreements with the Lakers, the Rams, the Angels and LAFC.

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