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Kenny Smith, Chris Webber Steal Show In Inside The NBA Special

“Wiping sweat from his brow and tears from his eyes, Webber said that he wanted to speak about the night, “because I feel like we always have the same couple voices talking during these times.”

Jacob Conley

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TNT aired a special edition of Inside the NBA on Wednesday evening in response to players boycotting Wednesday’s playoff games to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.

“Today players and coaches made a resounding and unified statement by refusing to take the court,” host Ernie Johnson Jr. said. “There are moments that have happened during my 30 years in this chair: Magic’s announcement in ‘91, Adam Silver addressing the Donald Sterling situation in 2014, banning him for life, and then today. There is no podium involved, just simply we are not going to take the floor.”

Charles Barkley says he is not surprised by the decision not to play.

“You heard guys talking about it (not playing) yesterday. That started the fire,” Barkley said. “Then the Milwaukee Bucks, who were scheduled to lead off today, cancelled. If the Bucks hadn’t cancelled, I don’t think anybody else would have cancelled. They should have given the Magic a heads up, but I do think it was appropriate that the Bucks did it because it happened in their home state. I think after that, you had to cancel the rest of the games. I think you need to cancel the games tomorrow also just so the different set of teams can let them know that they are standing with them. My question is what the game plan is after that?”

An emotional Kenny “the Jet” Smith said he had a difficult time processing his thoughts over the incident before abruptly leaving the set.

“I feel like my head is ready to explode,” Smith said. “I don’t think I can say anything that is appropriate for what players are thinking and feeling.  As a Black man and a former player I feel it is important to support the players and not be here tonight.”

Shaquille O’Neal adds that a unified stance among the players was key.

“If everybody wasn’t unified, we would be talking about something not nearly as important (who played and who did not play) instead of the real issue,” he said.  “I respect the decision. I respect the guys and how everybody deals with certain things differently. African-Americans are fed up and something has to change.”

Shaq then broaches the subject of boycotting the rest of the season.

“I’ll support whatever the players decide to do. Right now the games are just postponed,” he said. “Something like this is going to happen next week, next month and next year. Canceling one game is not going to make a racist person say, ‘oh, they canceled one game. I’m not going to be racist anymore.’ We have to identify certain areas and certain problems and we have to systematically take these things down.”

O’Neal adds that a good way to begin that process is to vote in the upcoming election.

“Make sure you get a new D.A. (District Attorney). Make sure you get a new Chief of Police. Make sure you get a new mayor and make sure you get a new president. It’s in our hands. We need to put people in place that understand our language and frustrations. That would be a good place to start.”

Former NBA player and TNT analyst Chris Webber joined the show from the arena in Orlando. His emotional reaction to the moment and the police shooting of another unarmed black man garnered a lot of attention and reaction across the media.

Wiping sweat from his brow and tears from his eyes, Webber said that he wanted to speak about the night, “because I feel like we always have the same couple voices talking during these times.”

“I keep hearing the question ‘What’s next?, What’s next?’. Well, you gotta plan what’s next. You have to figure out what’s next,” Webber continued. “Very proud of the players. I don’t know the next steps. Don’t really care what the next steps are, because the first steps are to garner attention, and they have everybody’s attention around the world right now. Then leadership and others will get together and decide the next steps.”

Webber said that he wanted to speak for the people in the neighborhoods “that we tell to vote and then just walk away.” He then spoke about conversations he has had to have with younger family members and asked “if not now when?” in reference to the need for police reform.

The powerful message, which ended with Webber praising young people for boycotting games and crying out for change, earned praise for the five-time all-star from the media, former teammates, and current players.

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Ryan Leaf: Jay Glazer ‘Is a Fraud When it Comes to Anything Mental Health or Wellness Related’

“Phelps is an inspiration but it gives me pause that he muddies his mind with that con man.”

Barrett Sports Media

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Photos of Ryan Leaf and Jay Glazer
Leaf Photo Credit: Houston Chronicle Glazer Photo Courtesy: FOX Sports

Swimmer Michael Phelps was a guest on NBC’s Meet the Press this weekend and as he has done before, he talked candidly about the challenges he has had with his mental health and his bouts with depression. He spoke with Kristen Welker and talked about FOX Sports football insider Jay Glazer being his “mental health buddy.” This brought quite the response from former Chargers quarterback and current football analyst Ryan Leaf.

“Jay Glazer and I, we’re both mental health buddies,” Phelps said. “We both struggle, and when we’re both having our bad days, we go through similar ups and downs. And we do similar things when we’re down, if that makes sense. We both had this conversation the other day because when it happens to me, I reach out to him. When it happens to him, he reaches out to me. I have a couple of friendships like that where we’ve kind of been really able to form a bond.”

In response to a social media post about the interview, Leaf held nothing back as he posted his thoughts about Glazer.

“Glazer is a fraud when it comes to anything mental health or wellness related,” Leaf wrote. “He uses it for his benefit and really isn’t invested in any of it unless it benefits him and his brand. Phelps is an inspiration but it gives me pause that he muddies his mind with that con man.”

Leaf has been vocal as well about his struggles with depression, addiction and a suicide attempt. Leaf also spent 32 months in prison when he violated the terms of his probation by breaking into a home to steal prescription drugs.

Back in 2018, a story from the New York Post talked about Leaf and Glazer working together on Glazer’s ‘Merging Vets and Players’ (MVP) initiative.

Glazer, who was recently married and has been on his honeymoon, posted on his X account in response to Phelps’ interview, “Brother, I am so honored to walk this walk with you!!! We save each other my dude!”

Glazer has not yet commented on the post from Leaf. Should he respond, we will update this story.

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‘NFL Total Access’ Comes to an End After 21 Years on NFL Network

“Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network.”

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NFL Total Access

‘NFL Total Access’ has been a part of the NFL Network since 2003 and today it is set for its final episode. The news of the show coming to an end came down earlier this month. Many of the current show participants took to social media to post their thoughts including hosts Mike Yam and Kimmi Chex along with analyst Chase Daniel.

“Tonight marks the last ever episode of NFL Total Access,” said Chex. “I was 7 years old when this show aired meaning that I spent my life watching. Co-hosting our flagship program this past season has been the honor of my career. I’m not going anywhere but for now, it’s goodbye TA.”

Yam said, “It’s been an absolute thrill hosting NFL Total Access. Today is our last show and while our team is disappointed, we are excited about what’s next for us at NFL Network. “Thank you” isn’t nearly enough to express the gratitude I have for the team. See you at 7est for 1 more run.”

A report from The Athletic said the show would be replaced “at least in the interim” by Insiders with Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero.

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NBCUniversal Names Olympic Hosts for USA, CNBC and E!; Kathryn Tappen Headlines

“We are excited to have an experienced group of hosts to present the most compelling stories, news, and interviews as we take viewers from event to event throughout the Games.”

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NBC Olympics Logo and photos of Cara Banks, Laura Britt, Trenni Casey, Lindsay Czarniak, Carolyn Manno, and Kathryn Tappen

NBCUniversal announced its hosts for coverage of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 on USA Network, CNBC and E! Cara Banks, Laura Britt and Trenni Casey will all be a part of the coverage on CNBC and E! Lindsay Czarniak, Carolyn Manno and Kathryn Tappen will all take part in the USA Network coverage.

The Opening Ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympics is Friday, July 26 on NBC, Peacock, and Telemundo.

Coverage on USA Network, CNBC, and E! is expected to include Team USA men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, and volleyball, as well as swimming, gymnastics, and track & field, and more.

“We are excited to have an experienced group of hosts to present the most compelling stories, news, and interviews as we take viewers from event to event throughout the Games,” said Rebecca Chatman, Vice President and Coordinating Producer, NBC Olympics Production in a release.

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