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Marv Albert Reflects On Biggest Events, Games Of His Career

Just days before the final broadcast in a career spanning over a half-century, Marv Albert sat down with Shaun Powell.

MIchael Quirk

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After almost 60 years of play-by-ball of mostly basketball, Marv Albert will be hanging it up this week after the conclusion of Game 2 of the Bucks-Hawks series. In an attempt to summarize some of the highlights of his enduring career, Albert sat down with Shaun Powell of NBA.com.

While Albert will be remembered by most for his calls of NBA games, he was asked many times to swim in other waters. He called Monday Night Football games, New York Rangers contests, MLB, boxing, horse racing, seemingly everything under the sun. When asked what was the most impactful event he covered, he claimed it was the 1992 Olympic basketball team.

“The greatest kick I got was doing the Dream Team, not for the games because they were all blowouts. But just to be around it. They were like the Beatles, had tight security, couldn’t really go anywhere. This is when basketball internationally had landed and started the whole movement. The first time they walked out on the floor I got the chills. Greatest group of athletes in a team sport that I’d ever seen.”

Marv Albert was on the call for various Super Bowls and NBA Finals, with his patented leathery voice accompanying the visual memories streaming in sports fans’ minds. Powell asked Albert what game stands out for him among the countless he has called.

“Probably the Jordan flu game. We knew Jordan was ill but the fans didn’t know, even when he was being carried back to the bench by his teammates every timeout. What he did was amazing, and the game was tight and he put up big numbers. He looked like he was going to double over. Because of what he did in that game, that was the most memorable.”

Nothing gets sports talk shows through the summer quite like discussions about legacies, Mount Rushmores, and of course, who is “the GOAT?” The latter often circles around Space Jam legend Michael Jordan and Space Jam 2 star Lebron James. So much so, that when the question is posed, it goes without saying who options A and B are, accompanied by an unspoken “you better not have an Option C.” Albert provided some context into the debate.

“That’s so hard but I go old school and give a slight edge to Jordan. When he first started as a rookie he was a bit skinny but I think if he played today he’d have LeBron’s body. He’d have the same motivation in terms of offseason training. There are guys in the 60s and 70s who would be able to play today, too. Bob Cousy would be a star because you see smaller guards now doing things that Cousy did then. His body would’ve changed. He’d still be 6-1 but he’d have a better shot, a jump shot instead of a push shot. Rick Barry would be sensational. If Michael played today he would be off the charts.”

Marv Albert’s final call will be Friday at 8:30 on TNT.

Sports TV News

Rece Davis Believes Final Regular Season College GameDay Show Typically Most Hectic Due to Coaching Changes

“There were so many coaching changes and decisions, and we’re getting people on the phone. That was before everybody got comfortable with FaceTime.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Rece Davis

College GameDay was in Columbus this past weekend ahead of Ohio State’s annual rivalry game against Michigan, and host Rece Davis said a number of head coaching announcements throughout the show made for some pretty chaotic moments.

Luke Fickell being named the new head coach at Wisconsin and former Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule being hired at Nebraska were among the marquee hirings announced over the weekend.

On the College GameDay Podcast, Davis said trying to get information confirmed and incorporated into the show in real time was exhilarating.

“It was a bizarre, fun show that we’ve had over the years when we’ve gone to Ohio State/Michigan,” he said. “I remember the ’16 year that we extended the show to five hours. It was really fun, and then a really great game followed it. And there were so many coaching changes and decisions, and we’re getting people on the phone. That was before everybody got comfortable with FaceTime. But there were a lot of bizarre things going on.”

Podcast co-host and senior college football reporter Pete Thamel echoed Davis’ sentiments, saying he would do a hit on the show, then take out his earpiece and immediately get back on the phone to work on getting the most up to date information.

“It was whoa,” he said. “We did the first segment…and normally I would’ve stayed and watched to see what the guys had to say, but I just walked off the stage and went back and started making calls.”

In addition to the Wisconsin and Nebraska hirings, Thamel was also working on trying to figure out the situation at Auburn. He helped get Rhule on the show as well, and he said it was cool the show’s team was able to book guests so quickly from different locations in the country.

“We literally went coast to coast on GameDay with good interviews on Saturday,” he said.

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Sports TV News

Disney CEO Bob Iger: Company Will Chase Profitability Over Growing Subscriber Base

“We have to start chasing profitability. It will be demanded of us.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Change is abound at Disney, but it’s welcomed change. CEO Bob Iger, who was announced as the replacement for Bob Chapek last week, said his goal is to help get the company’s financial ship righted.

“We have to start chasing profitability,” Iger told employees and executives at a town hall. “It will be demanded of us.”

Iger announced one of his first moves in returning to the CEO role was to shake up its digital media and entertainment distribution division. That branch of the company oversees its streaming services like Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. Disney+ boasts tens of millions of subscribers, and Chapek focused heavily on reaching as many people as possible.

But Disney stock price has shrunk sharply over the course of the last year, and there have been other areas of the company in which there has been discourse. There was some belief that Disney could be up for sale.

Iger hopes things at the company can be turned around in due course, but he made one thing for certain: Disney and its properties are not for sale.

“Nothing is forever, but I’m very comfortable with the set of assets that we have,” he said. “I think they can serve our company, don’t expect any headlines soon about deals.”

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Sports TV News

YES Network Considering Derek Jeter and Don Mattingly for Analyst Roles

“I have something else burning fairly hot right now,” Mattingly said. “Depends how that goes.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Could Yankees fans see and hear from two of the franchise’s most beloved former players on TV next season? It’s not out of the realm of possibility. The New York Post reported Monday the team’s YES Network appeared to have an interest in bringing in Derek Jeter and Don Mattingly.

But according to the network’s president of programming and production John Filippelli, it’s all speculative at this point.

“We haven’t had any in-depth discussion with either,” he told Andrew Marchand. “If they are A) available and B) interested, you probably at least have to have a conversation.”

Marchand reached out to Mattingly, who finished his run as manager of the Miami Marlins at the end of the 2022 season, and the former Dodgers manager seemed to indicate that there is another potential opportunity in the works.

“I have something else burning fairly hot right now,” Mattingly said. “Depends how that goes.”

Jeter will likely be a hard sell on getting into the booth. The understanding is the legendary former shortstop doesn’t have a big interest in getting into broadcasting like his former teammate Alex Rodriguez.

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