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Woj: Gambling Is Making Fan Behavior In Arenas Worse

“It’s going to impact the way the relationship between fans and players is in real time.”

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The behavior of Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving on Sunday afternoon was the talk of sports media on Monday.

Over on NBA Today on ESPN, Adrian Wojnarowski told the panel that Irving at the very least could see heavy fines coming his way for flipping off fans and yelling obscenities at hecklers.

Woj also said fans getting players to react throughout the course of a game has been on an upward trend this year. You also saw in the Play-In Tournament an instance where a player reacted to words coming from the crowd. But Woj said the rise in gambling on NBA games and the financial implications some in the arena face is only going to embolden more negative interactions.

“There’s a different dynamic with Kyrie Irving and Boston. But as gambling becomes more prevalent, in the arena, people gambling on almost everything that goes on during the game. And they’re drinking. Players, organizations, and you talk to them, they already feel it in the arena, and when people are losing money in real-time, and they’re pointing to a player on the court that said ‘hey I bet you to score more points in the 2nd quarter than somebody else. And I lost.’ You’re adding an element to that that we’re not talking as much about, but is a real factor in this league,” he said.

Teams and arenas where sports gambling has been legalized have embraced the opportunity for wagering. Some arenas have opened sportsbooks on-site, allowing fans with tickets to place bets before heading to their seats.

“I think you’re going to see more instances of fans being even more vitriolic toward players in this league,” Woj added. “It’s an issue they’re going to have to deal with. But I think it comes with the influx of gambling money that everyone’s going to profit off of, both players and the league and the BRI. It’s going to impact the way the relationship between fans and players is in real time.”

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Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set

“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”

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TNT/Larry Brown Sports

Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.

The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.

Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.

“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”

Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.

Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.

Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.

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Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock

“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”

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Rich Eisen Show

Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.

According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.

Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.

The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.

The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.

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Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast

“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’

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First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.

No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.

Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.

McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.

“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.” 

In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.

There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.

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