Undisputed co-host Skip Bayless seems to be fixated on LeBron James recently. Not only did he devote two separate segments of the FS1 program Monday to downplaying James and the Los Angeles Lakers recent NBA title, he also compared Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott to James when discussing Prescott’s career-threatening injury, a compound right ankle fracture. Bayless has also been active from his personal twitter account expressing his opinions on both topics.
Bayless, who has a long history of downplaying James’ accomplishments, began the process from his personal Twitter account just minutes after James won his fourth NBA Title on Sunday.
Bayless remained true to form, downplaying James’ accomplishments again on Monday’s Undisputed.
“These championship rings should be made of Cubic Zirconia and have a big asterisk inscribed on the inside that says ‘avoided Clippers’”, Bayless said. “You (the Lakers) avoided the one team that could have knocked you off, the one team that the odds makers had as favorites going into these pandemic playoffs. You got to play a team whose center is only as tall as your point guard… You were prohibitive favorites to win.”
It is likely that similar comments from Bayless and others that caused James to say after the Championship game, where he was named Finals MVP, “I want my damn respect”.
Bayless also took issue with that statement.
“I was shocked that LeBron acknowledged all the doubt that’s out there about him,” Bayless said. “Some of it emanates from this side of the table (Bayless) but a lot of people inside and outside of basketball have doubts. LeBron is wrongly compared to Michael Jordan as the greatest player of all time. I covered Michael Jordan. I can’t imagine him saying, ‘I want my damn respect’. That’s because Michael Jordan is universally acknowledged as the greatest athlete to play any sport… There are probably even Laker fans who won’t say that about LeBron.”
Bayless’s Undisputed co-host was not having the disrespect. Shannon Sharpe mocked Bayless and his on-going vendetta against LeBron by brining a live goat onto the show’s set.
The LeBron topic then made the crossover from the hardwood to the gridiron as Bayless compared the toughness of Dak Prescott to that of James.
“I have raved about him ever since he was in college and I did on that other show on ESPN (First Take),” Bayless said. “From the first time I saw him pay in the NFL against the Rams .I knew he could be a franchise quarterback,” Bayless said. “Early yesterday, against the woeful Giants, we were down 17-3.Then the defense starts to cause some turnovers. Maybe there is some hope. I thought maybe this was our day, and then the injury happens. It took me a minute to process what just happened because he had been LeBron-esque ironman.”
Stats seem to back up Bayless’ point, as Prescott has yet to miss a regular season start in his five year career while James has also been relatively durable during his 17 year career. Although, it should be noted that it wasn’t even a month ago that Bayless questioned Prescott’s toughness and fitness to lead a team after the Cowboys’ quarterback admitted to suffering from depression during the early days of the Covid-19 Pandemic and after his brother’s suicide.
Jacob Conley writes about news/talk radio BNM. He can be found on Twitter @GWUJake or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kevin Negandhi: I’m the Same on SportsCenter As I Am In Real Life
“I’ve always just tried to find that blend where I can be respectful for the audience and have a good time and have fun delivering highlights.”
Kevin Negandhi has been one of the hosts of the 6:00 PM ET SportsCenter on ESPN over the last few years. Even in this prominent role, Negandhi takes great pride in making sure the viewer is being entertained and getting an escape from the real world, at least for an hour.
Negandhi was a guest on The Adam Schein Podcast this week and Schein asked him how he would describe his broadcast style. He wanted to make it clear that if you met him on the street, he is the same person that you see on ESPN.
“I’m the person that you would meet casually, I’m the same person on TV. I’ve always said that I represent not just my family, not just where I’m from, I represent the passion of the great area and region that is Philadelphia. When you see me on TV, I feel like I’m letting you into a conversation I would normally have with you if we were talking about something. You are here for an escape, let’s talk about it because I got in the business because I passionately love sports. It was my connection with my family growing up. Connection with my family still to this day. It’s kind of like get in with us.”
Whenever Negandhi is hosting SportsCenter, he told Schein he tries to find a good mix of giving the highlights and the news while also understanding that the viewer is looking to be entertained as well.
“I’ve always just tried to find that blend where I can be respectful for the audience and have a good time and have fun delivering highlights and delivering the news and making sure you are entertained but at the same time understanding that I’m having fun with you while you are watching us as an escape.”
One other broadcaster that stands out for not being just a broadcaster according to Negandhi is Scott Van Pelt because Van Pelt is comfortable being himself and doesn’t have a filter.
“Scott Van Pelt really stands out to me because when you watch Scott, there is no filter with Scott. He’s not a broadcaster. Scott is Scott and he is comfortable in his skin.”
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
MLS Season Pass Debuts on Apple TV
The first MLS season begins on Saturday, February 25th, with Nashville SC taking on New York City FC. All matches will be available for free during the first week of the season.
MLS Season Pass on Apple TV debuted to much fanfare for Major League Soccer fans Wednesday.
Fans from around the world will be able to watch every MLS contest as the launch of the service begins the streaming platform’s 10-year, $2.5 billion media rights contract with the American soccer league.
With the debut of the service, most MLS games will now take place on Saturdays and select Wednesdays with 7:30 PM local start times.
MLS Season Pass will feature several prominent soccer voices, including analysts Taylor Twellman and Cobi Jones, play-by-play man Max Bretos, and studio host Liam McHugh.
The MLS season begins on Saturday, February 25th, with Nashville SC taking on New York City FC. All matches will be available for free during the first week of the season.
The streaming service will cost $14.99 per month or $99 per season, with existing AppleTV+ subscribers being offered the package at a discounted price of $12.99 per month or $79 for the season.
MLS Season Pass launches on a wide range of viewing platforms. Not only is the service available on televisions, smartphones, and tablets, but it can also be viewed on smart TVs, computers, and video game consoles.
MLB Network Dropped By YouTube TV
“MLB Network has offered terms consistent with what close to 300 other U.S. providers have agreed to for distribution.”
After contract negotiations stalled, YouTube TV dropped MLB Network from its channel lineup.
“We apologize for the news and will continue conversations with the MLB to advocate on your behalf, in the hope of restoring their content on YouTube TV,” an email to YouTube TV subscribers said.
MLB Network was previously included in YouTube TV’s $64.99 per month plan before being dropped Tuesday.
Spring Training for MLB franchises begins on February 24th.
“With Spring Training about to start, we regret that YouTube TV has been unwilling to negotiate a fair carriage agreement,” an MLB Network spokesperson told Barrett Sports Media. “MLB Network has offered terms consistent with what close to 300 other U.S. providers have agreed to for distribution.
“With the great demand and value for live baseball content, Major League Baseball’s commitment to MLB Network now and in the future is stronger than ever before, and we remain open and committed to reaching an agreement with YouTube TV as soon as possible.”
YouTube TV has gone through several carriage disputes in the past, with most — like those with NBCUniversal and Disney — being resolved after short disruptions to subscribers.
Viewers affected by the decision from YouTube TV can go to findlmbnetwork.com to see alternative options.