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Stan Van Gundy: Kevin Harlan Is A Great Coach

“After Van Gundy was let go by the Pelicans, he told his agent that the only network he wanted to work for was TNT.”

Ricky Keeler

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A new NBA season begins on Tuesday night and TNT will have a doubleheader beginning with the Brooklyn Nets taking on the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks at 7:30 p.m ET followed by the Los Angeles Lakers hosting the Golden State Warriors. 

Two of the analysts this season on the TNT broadcasts will be Reggie Miller (Warriors-Lakers with Kevin Harlan and Allie LaForce) and Stan Van Gundy (Nets-Bucks with Ian Eagle and Stephanie Ready). Miller will be entering his 17th season at TNT and he enjoys getting the chance to work with some of the best play-by-play broadcasters in the game. 

“Number one, you have the best seat in the house on a nightly basis as a former player,” he said on a recent conference call. “You are between the lines and to be that close, we get to hear strategies, the trash talking. Stan understands the game so well. I get a chance to see plays or trends before they happen. 

“Having been in this 17 years already, I’ve had the chance to work with some of the great play-by-play men in Dick Stockton, obviously marvelous Marv Albert, who retired last season, Kevin Harlan. The symmetry you form as a bond to tell these stories. The game is going to tell the story for you.”

As for Van Gundy, he is entering his second stint as an analyst at Turner after he spent last season as head coach of the New Orleans Pelicans. Since he is fairly new at the analyst role compared to Miller, he is always trying to learn and focuses on preparation.

“I try to focus on two things. One is I try to make sure that I’m really well-prepared going in, that I know the teams I’m watching, that I’ve watched them play recent games on film, that I’ve spent time looking at all the numbers, reading everything I can. The second thing is I ask for a lot of feedback particularly from the play-by-play guys I work with.” 

The key to getting better for Van Gundy is always getting feedback not only from his play-by-play partner, but from people behind-the-scenes as well. 

“I started working at Turner two years ago with Ian Eagle. He’s not only a great play-by-play guy, but a great coach and gave me a lot of help in that regard. In the bubble, I also worked with Spero Dedes and Brian Anderson. They gave me a lot of help. I worked the other night with Kevin Harlan.

“Asking those people to give you feedback, same with the producers and directors… I don’t want people telling me great job when it wasn’t. Tell me what I can do to get better. That’s something I’ll continue to try to do all year and validate the confidence that Turner has shown in me to give me this opportunity.” 

After Van Gundy was let go by the Pelicans, he told his agent that the only network he wanted to work for was TNT. It would be a homecoming of sorts, as he was an analyst for the network during the 2019-2020 season. He mentioned that he liked working there because of the great people who put the NBA broadcast together and he wanted more of a defined role compared to what he had while at ESPN in 2018. 

“My experience working with Turner/NBATV was outstanding. They treated people really, really well. I liked not only the broadcasters, but the people behind the scenes. The atmosphere is great. It’s just great for me to still be able to be around the game and be out there every night. Quite honestly, it’s a lot less stressful.” 

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Pedro Martinez: ‘Never Imagined’ TV Career

“And the reason I’m here, it’s not because of the camera, it’s actually because it gives me an opportunity to remain linked to the game, remain linked to what’s going on, the different changes the game is offering right now, adjusting to different things.”

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As the Major League Baseball season comes to a close and preparations for the playoffs begin, MLB Network and TNT analyst Pedro Martinez joined The Press Box podcast to discuss his time as a television analyst.

When asked what he liked about working in television, Martinez didn’t hesitate with his answer.

“I think it’s a platform and the opportunity I have to bring to the audience what I know, what I think, what I understand and broadcasting gives me the opportunity to continue to have that communication with the people, the young athletes and fans. At the same time, I’m able to continue to learn and transmit some of the things that I would love to show everybody by playing but my body doesn’t allow me, but my mind does.

“This is a great way to bring the right information to the people, but I take advantage of the platform to communicate with my fanbase, the player’s fanbase, and the voice behind the players and the situations that come up, I can actually teach the audience some of the things that I understand from my point of view.”

A media career was never in the cards for Martinez. At least that’s what he thought during his playing career.

“I swear to god, it’s the only thing I never imagined. I never thought I would like being in front of a camera,” Martinez said. “And the reason I’m here, it’s not because of the camera, it’s actually because it gives me an opportunity to remain linked to the game, remain linked to what’s going on, the different changes the game is offering right now, adjusting to different things.

“You learn so much just by having access to information, having access to so many other different things. A lot of people would be surprised how much you can dig into and I think for everybody else, if they knew the kind of information we have access to, they’d be intrigued to come do what we do.”

He then said one of the things he would have never picked up on was how many pitchers tip their pitches, but due to all of the information, video, and relationships broadcasters have make that information readily available. He added his work in television has enabled more relationships with baseball players from his home country, the Dominican Republic.

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Stephen A. Smith and Malika Andrews Get Heated Over Ime Udoka Coverage

“Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, I listened to you,” Smith interjected, “you’re the one telling me to stop on my show. It ain’t happening.”

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Stephen A. Smith, Malika Andrews

On Friday’s First Take, Stephen A. Smith continued his stance regarding the public leaking of information surrounding Celtics’ Head Coach Ime Udoka relationship with a team staffer. He also went further by sharing his dismay that Udoka was seemingly the only person punished for the violation of company policy.

“Only he is in violation of the company policy?” Smith asked. “The woman who elected to have a consensual relationship with him is not in violation?” 

Before the end of the show, ESPN NBA Today host Malika Andrews called in the program and wanted to address Smith’s comments.

“Stephen A., with all do respect, this is not about pointing the finger. Stop,” Andrews said. “The fact that we are sitting here debating whether somebody else should have been suspended or not, we are not here, Stephen A., to further blame women.”

Smith would replay saying that his intention was not blame anyone outside of the Celtics coach.

“First of all, let me be very clear, I don’t appreciate where you’re going with that, I’m not blaming anybody but Ime Udoka,” Smith stated. “The fact of the matter is, he deserves to be fired if they were going to fire him. If you’re not going to fire him, then don’t fire him. My issue is all of this being publicized.”

Andrews tried to jump back in for further commentary but Smith stopped that and noted he didn’t appreciate being interrupted on “my show”.

“Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, I listened to you,” Smith interjected, “you’re the one telling me to stop on my show. It ain’t happening.”

Andrews did thank Smith for clarifying his stance at the end of the segment. ESPN has removed access to the video from its YouTube channel by making it private.

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Rich Eisen on Tom Brady Joining FOX: ‘I Gotta See It to Believe It’

“I think what Peyton Manning has done with his post-playing career is more of a blueprint that I would think Brady would follow.”

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Is 2023 the year we see Tom Brady in the broadcast booth for FOX? Rich Eisen isn’t so sure.

“I still gotta see it to believe it, I’ll be honest with you, man. I know it’s a great chunk of change and it’s a lot of money. I don’t know,” the NFL Network icon said on the most recent edition of the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast.

Tom Brady has taken his foot off the gas in 2022 in a more public way than fans are used to. He voluntarily missed eleven days of training camp and has announced that he will not be available to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesdays during the season.

Eisen says if Brady is looking for a less demanding career, broadcasting isn’t the best option.

“It is a lot of work. And I’m not saying Brady’s not up for it, but if he’s been grinding for 23, 24 years, it’s still a grind in its own way.”

FOX signed Brady to a ten-year deal reportedly worth $375 million to start after he retires. He will be in the network’s top broadcast booth and also serve as an ambassador for the network’s coverage of the NFL.

Eisen says there is a much better model for Brady’s media career in his old rival Peyton Manning.

“I think what Peyton Manning has done with his post-playing career is more of a blueprint that I would think Brady would follow,” Eisen said. “Peyton Manning could be making that much money in the booth himself, right? Instead, he’s got his own production company and he’s doing the games, but not all of them, only 10 of them. And he’s doing them from his basement and he’s got the rights to the games!”

He added that Tom Brady “write his own ticket like that” if he chose to do something similar to what Manning has done with Omaha Productions.

Brady has not had much to say about his deal with FOX since the news became public. In June, he told Dan Patrick that he knows his first season in the booth will come with a lot of growing pains.

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