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Robert Horry’s Emotional Reaction To NBA Boycott Goes Viral

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Robert Horry was never what you would call a “superstar” in the NBA, but his name is well-known to basketball’s biggest fans. “Big Shot Bob,” as the sixteen-year veteran became known, won seven NBA championships during his stints with the Rockets, Lakers, and Spurs. Horry reportedly hated the nickname, but it was well-earned thanks to his penchant for hitting clutch shots to seal victories in the playoffs.

These days, Horry stays around the Lakers and the NBA as a studio analyst for Spectrum SportsNet in Los Angeles. The network had its NBA crew on hand on Wednesday night in anticipation of Game 5 between the Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers. That game, and the rest of the NBA slate, was postponed after the Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the floor for their game against the Orlando Magic earlier in the evening. The boycott was in response to police in Kenosha, Wisconsin shooting Jacob Blake, an unarmed black man, in the back seven times.

Horry spoke on the issue from the point of view of a Black parent. His reaction has drawn praise and support from around the country.

August 25 was Horry’s 50th birthday. He says he sat on the couch that day and cried thinking about the video of Blake being shot. He said the first time he watched the video, it was without volume. “I thought maybe they were going to tase him, right? Because that’s what they do with white people. They tase them.”

It was his youngest son Christian that pointed out that Blake was shot. Horry broke down in tears as he recalled the conversation with his 14-year-old that followed.

“I worry about him when he walks out that door. I have a 21-year-old son. I worry about him. Because Black men are endangered species pretty much. People, these cops, are just killing because they feel like if they don’t have they body cams on, they have a right.”

Any parent would struggle to listen to the conversation Horry says he has had with his sons without getting choked up.

“I say ‘Dude, I don’t care what’s going on, because at the end of the day I want you coming home to me. If you have to lay down on the ground and they can kick you, beat you, at least you’re gonna go to the hospital and you’re gonna come home to me. Whatever they say to you, don’t take it upon yourself to let that rage you have against that cop come out, because he has the gun. He can end you. I don’t want him to end you, because if he ends you, that means I’m gonna end him.'”

Horry acknowledged that that sort of sentiment isn’t necessarily right or okay, but said that his feelings are shaped by already having lost one child. His daughter Ashlyn was 17 when she died of a rare genetic disorder in 2011.

Sports TV News

Al Michaels: Condensed Prep Time For Thursday Night Football ‘A Downside’

“It’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us.”

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There were bound to be unexpected hiccups and unintended consequences as Al Michaels moved to Thursday Night Football with Amazon Prime Video.

He told The Boston Globe Thursday that one of the downsides of the week’s schedule is less prep time with the teams playing in the game.

“When we go to see the teams, it’s not that they don’t want to be with us, but they’re condensed too, so there’s less time to give to us,” Michaels said. “And all the time I’ve been doing this, I’ve built some great relationships with coaches and players and GMs and owners and you name it, and I don’t get that much time to spend with them anymore. That’s a downside part of it for me. Some of the best stories you get come from those relationships.”

Michaels has raised eyebrows this season while not being shy about his disdain for some poor matchups early in the schedule. However, he now understands that there are quality games as the season approaches its close.

“The schedule was a little leaky with the Carolina-Atlanta game and a couple of other games that we’ve had, but now we’re positioned for a nice run down the stretch,” said Michaels.

The 78-year-old was also asked how he remains energetic and passionate for the job he’s held for so long.

The games are exciting. I love sports. You don’t know what’s going to happen. There’s no script. And unscripted television is the greatest.”

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Sports TV News

Jimmy Pitaro: Reaching Younger Audience A Priority for ESPN

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience. As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

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Many in the media industry have voice concern that millennials and Gen Z aren’t consuming traditional media outlets like previous generations. ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said it’s a priority for the network.

“The thing that keeps me up at night is how do we reach the younger audience,” Pitaro said, quoted by Morning Consult sports business reporter Mark J. Burns. “As an industry in general, we need to figure out how to be more relevant to younger people.”

Pitaro made the comments at Sports Business Journal’s Media Innovators conference Wednesday. It is a continuation of comments he has made in recent years.

In 2018, Pitaro said at ESPN’s upfront “I think we are doing a fantastic job serving the sports fanatic,” said Pitaro. “What about the casual sports customer? Are we doing all we can to serve him or her?”.

In 2019, Pitaro said it was “all hands on deck” to reach a younger audience and women. “We have to be open and go to where our customers are,” he said in regards to reaching younger viewers on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Earlier this year, Pitaro added that ESPN won’t be leaving linear television anytime soon.

“What I will tell you is that as I sit here right now, that business is still incredible,” Pitaro said. “We serve the sports fan anyway and at any time. I know there are a lot of people that still want ESPN in that traditional ecosystem.”

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Sports TV News

Don Mattingly Joining Blue Jays Staff After YES Network Courtship

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

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The New York Yankees regional sports network can take Don Mattingly off its talent wish list. Mattingly was announced Wednesday as a bench coach for the Toronto Blue Jays starting in 2023.

The former Dodgers and Marlins manager had been mentioned as a someone YES Network was interested in potentially hiring to be an analyst.

But Mattingly told Andrew Marchand of The New York Post this week that he had another opportunity in the works but wouldn’t elaborate.

YES also has been considering luring Yankees legend and Hall of Famer Derek Jeter into broadcasting. But no formal talks have taken place.

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