Before the NBA tipped off the 2020-21 season, the league instituted a new load management policy, penalizing teams $100,000 for resting their stars during nationally televised games.
Either the memo never made it to the Nets, or they’re just OK racking up fines, but whatever the reasoning, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is fed up with how few games Brooklyn’s stars are on the court.
Wednesday night against the 76ers should have been a battle of the elite, two teams fighting for the No. 1 seed. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid were there for the Sixers, but one night after looking healthy in a 30-point scoring effort, Kevin Durant was out for the Nets. Kyrie Irving, who has missed his fair share of games this season was the lone star in the lineup for Brooklyn. James Harden, Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge, Blake Griffin, none of them were on the court and it aggravated Smith who stopped just short of calling for fans to boycott.
“So much for looking forward to tonight’s game,” Smith said in a Twitter video. “Win, lose or draw, half of Brooklyn ain’t there. What sense does it make, what difference does it make, this is the BS that I’m talking about right here, right now. This is that stuff that I’m talking about and then you all wonder why I be calling cats out! I mean damn. Damn! How many days off do you need?!”
Smith said he’s not going to call for fans to boycott regular season games, but did say, “sometimes I wish we would react like that,” reminding players that it can’t be all about the playoffs, they get paid for the full year.
Declining TV ratings was a major story for the NBA last summer and load management does nothing for the league as they’ve tried to rebound this season to placate their TV partners.
Two months ago, LeBron James came out strongly against the idea of load management. “I don’t believe in it,” LeBron said. “We all need more rest, shit. But I’m here to work, to punch my clock in and be available to my teammates.” Unfortunately, James sustained a right ankle sprain a few weeks later. But at 36 years old, with a lot of mileage on his body, James shows up to play when he’s healthy. Other stars, especially ones who play for the Brooklyn Nets can’t say the same.
Media Reacts To Nick Saban’s Comments On Texas A&M, Jackson State
“Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.”
Nick Saban had some choice words about recruiting in the NIL era on Wednesday night. The Alabama head coach didn’t just voice frustrations with the process. He called out three schools specifically for using Name, Image and Likeness payments to create an advantage for themselves in recruiting.
He said that Texas A&M, which signed the top-ranked recruiting class in 2022 according to a number of outlets “bought every player on their team.”
He said that Jackson State gave a player $1 million to come to the school. “It was in the paper,” he said. “They bragged about it! Nobody did anything about it.”
It is likely that he was talking about defensive back Travis Hunter, widely regarded as one of the five best players in the class of 2022. It should be noted that Jackson State Coach Deion Sanders has been adamant that Hunter did not receive a dime from the school or anyone else.
The comments created plenty of content on sports radio on Thursday.
Jimbo Fischer, the head coach of Texas A&M took the story to a new level with a press conference of his own in which he cryptically encouraged people to “dig into” Saban’s career history.
The commentary in the sports media came in all kinds of forms. Plenty took to Twitter to express an opinion.
Others used the feud to create comedy.
Finally, others did actual reporting. they made phone calls to get context and further the story.
The coaches may be relatively quiet in public for a while. That doesn’t mean the stories and reactions are going away. Saban’s comments and the ensuing rebuttals will be used to fuel content on sports television and radio through the offseason and likely beyond.
Bleav Announces Partnership With SiriusXM
“The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.”
A new partnership will see content from the Bleav Podcast Network come under the SiriusXM umbrella. All 32 of the network’s NFL team-specific podcasts will now be available on the SXM app. The satellite radio company will also have the ability to air Bleav content on its sports channels.
“SiriusXM is a leader in content. We’re very happy to be a part of their programming and continue to amplify the voice of our talent,” Bleav CEO Bron Heussenstamm said in a press release. “SiriusXM listeners will be able to regularly hear from athletes that played for their team, bringing fans insight and access that only a player can.”
The Bleav podcasts come with some serious star power. Each show features a former player paired with a host to discuss the latest news about their team. In adding Bleav, SiriusXM adds the likes of Eric Davis, Lorenzo Neal, Adam “Pac Man” Jones and others to its roster.
The deal will also lead to more content in the future. The companies expect to add to the Bleav content available on the SXM App, including shows focused on other professional and college sports.
“Bleav’s team-focused programming, hosted by many former stars from the league, give fans a unique and experienced perspective into their favorite players and franchises,” said Steve Cohen, SiriusXM’s SVP of Sports Programming and Podcasts. “Bleav’s network of shows deliver valuable insight for fans of every NFL team. They are a great addition to the selection of sports podcasts available on the SXM App and we look forward to adding other shows, focused on other sports, from the Bleav network to SiriusXM in the future.”
Dave Portnoy Offers Pat Beverley ‘Blank Check’ To Join Barstool
“Just say how many zeros and guarantee us once a week, you are hired.”
Minnesota Timberwolves player Pat Beverley turned heads with his comments about Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul after the Suns were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs.
Beverley told Mike Greenberg and Stephen A. Smith on Monday that he thinks Paul is a “traffic cone,” due to his poor defense and that on nights he knows he’s playing Paul he’ll have a nice steak dinner and wine the night before. He said he’s in bed by 8 p.m. and doesn’t want to hear from his mom or girlfriend if he’s playing Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors.
Pat’s comments got the attention of Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy. Portnoy said Monday he liked Beverley so much that he would hire him to do a podcast for Barstool.
“If Pat Beverley is a Barstool fan and he’s watching this, he has a blank check. You name your price for a podcast, and we will hire you — no questions asked,” Portnoy said. “Just say how many zeros and guarantee us once a week, you are hired.”
Portnoy made the push to sign Beverley to a podcast deal as the company seeks to scale back the number of podcasts it produces. Barstool CEO Erika Nardini announced the decision to cut shows last week.
No word if Beverley has responded to Portnoy’s offer.