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Toucher and Rich Celebrate Cedric Maxwell by Ripping Jim Gray

98.5 the Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich demonstrated a ‘how-to’ and a ‘how not-to’ in sports broadcasting by using Cedric Maxwell and Jim Gray’s weekends.

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Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Toucher and Rich are dominating morning drive ratings in Boston. So when they mentioned on this morning’s show they had a “master class in sports broadcasting,” one’s ears perk.

Co-host Rich Shertenlieb began the segment by saying that he is about to present a “how-to and how not-to handle certain things”. This all came from audio over the long holiday weekend. He started with a station favorite. “If you didn’t see it, Cedric Maxwell was just a rock star,” Rich continued.

Cedric Maxwell, a former Boston Celtic and current radio color commentator for the team, was asked to be a part of the trophy presentation to the winning Celtics. Lisa Salters, ESPN’s on-court began and introduced Maxwell for the first presentation, the Eastern Conference Championship. After a brief session interviewing Al Horford, Salters was back to introduce the inaugural Larry Bird trophy (presented to the Eastern Conference Finals MVP). Salters invited Maxwell back to introduce to recipient and he sounded even more comfortable.

“Girl, it is a pleasure to be on top. Now for me to give this MVP trophy out, let me see here, Jayson Tatum”.

The show also played the audio of Maxwell still on the court interrupting Stephen A. Smith’s live hit with Scott Van Pelt after the game.

“How about then damn Celtics,” boomed the voice of Maxwell. “Man, how about them damn Celtics!”

Toucher & Rich are huge fans of Cedric Maxwell. They’ve had him on the show many times (including this morning) and frequently play his wild, sometimes incomprehensible reactions to Celtics moments on the court.

The show then juxtaposed those moments with “another person working the postgame or should I say post-fight interview,” Rich began. “Fred, that would be your best buddy, Jim Gray”.

It is important to note that Toucher & Rich have a history with Jim Gray that dates back to a tense interview on radio row at the Super Bowl in 2019. Since then, the show has not minced words about Gray.

Gray was working the boxing event for Showtime on Saturday. The moment in question came after Gervonta “Tank” Davis knocked out Rolly Romero. Gray asked about Davis’ future and future opponents when Davis said this:

“I’m here baby. I’m here. Whatever they want to do I’m here, baby! Ain’t no safety on this glock, you know? Ain’t no safety on this glock and I got a lot of ammunition.”

Gray pulled the microphone back and added “let’s stay away from guns, this is an awful time in our nation. I know you’re just meaning this in terms of boxing.”

That’s when Toucher made the sad trombone sound with his mouth and Rich asked, “Are you kidding me with that?

Toucher then opined “when you start clarifying with ‘I know you didn’t mean it that way’ then maybe don’t say anything.”

It’s also worthy of noting that moments after the Davis fight, there was a false alarm at the Barclays Center when someone reported hearing gunshots.

Rich concluded the segment by expressing how happy he was for Maxwell. “I felt happy for him. I saw him on TV and I was like ‘Max! This is great!”

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Sports Media Reacts to the Possibility of Losing ‘Inside the NBA’

“It’s must-see television, it always is.”

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Photos of Shaquille O'Neal, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley
Photo Courtesy: TNT Sports

Many in sports media have reacted to the news today that NBC will claim the final NBA media rights package. This means that longtime NBA partner TNT is out after next season and, most likely, Inside the NBA will come to an end next year as well.

On 670 The Score in Chicago, Dan Bernstein said, “I’m genuinely unhappy about it because it appears that the last season of the NBA on TNT and Inside the NBA is next year and then it’s over. Unless somebody just throws a ton of money and picks that whole show up and grabs it and says, ‘What’s your number’ for everybody we want to just take the whole show, everybody involved and make it part of what we do…it sounds like it’s over and that sucks. That’s the best sports studio show ever.”

Steak Shapiro from 92.9 The Game in Atlanta said upon reading the news, “That stinks… What great entertainment does is allow you to be entertained and take a deep breath and say, ‘I just enjoy this, this is my hour and a half or two hours watching Shaq, Kenny, Charles and Ernie Johnson Jr. hanging out.'”

Rich Eisen spent time on his show talking about it and said, ” I’m telling you guys I would be stunned if they were all a package deal going somewhere else.” He later added, about the show, “It’s must-see television, it always is.”

Several others took to social media to post about the show:

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Andy Gresh: ‘Greg Olsen Got Pushed Out for the Greatest Player in the History of the Game’

“Even in the world of tight ends he doesn’t scratch the surface of where Tom Brady has been.”

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Photos of Andy Gresh and Greg Olsen and a logo for WEEI
Gresh Photo Courtesy: Audacy Olsen Photo Courtesy: FOX Sports

The Sports Emmy Awards were handed out last night and one particular award caught the attention of WEEI’s Gresh & Fauria show in Boston. Hosts Andy Gresh and Christian Fauria talked about the category of Outstanding Personality/Event Analyst where the nominees were Troy Aikman, Cris Collinsworth, Greg Olsen, Bill Raftery, John Smoltz and Tom Verducci.

Olsen won the award, and the show played the audio from his acceptance speech. “I think there’s a lot of people wondering what I’m going to say right now,” Olsen said. “Coming into tonight, people asked me, they say, ‘What’s your biggest threat to your future in the business?’ And everyone’s like, ‘Oh, Brady and this,’ and I think it’s Andy from ‘Toy Story.’ If he gets in, (Cris) Collinsworth, (Troy) Aikman, we’re dead. But I really appreciate it.”

Olsen later added, “I don’t know what the future holds, all I know is I love talking football, I love talking ball, I love studying it, I love seeing where the game is going. Wherever that takes me, whatever level it is, I’m more committed to the game of football now.”

It was the “I don’t know what the future holds” part of what Olsen said that caught the host’s attention. They took that as Olsen pouting and not being happy to be on the No. 2 FOX Sports NFL team. Fauria used the term “pushed out” and Gresh wanted to make a point about that.

“Again, Greg Olsen got pushed out for the greatest player in the history of the game,” Gresh said. “And they’re not firing him, they’re moving him to the No. 2 spot… and guess what, if you don’t keep that gig, the only thing that’ll be on the epitaph of the career resume is that you got bumped by Tom Brady. You’re good, settle in for No. 2, wait your turn somewhere else…but even in the world of tight ends he doesn’t scratch the surface of where Tom Brady has been.”

Fauria painted the picture a little differently as he is not of the belief Tom Brady is going to be a great NFL analyst. “It’s funny because here comes a guy who was just recognized by all his peers…deciding between all these guys, he was the best one,” he said. “And he got pushed out for a guy who has never done it before…and there is not some sort of given that he is even going to be good at it. He could suck at it.”

Gresh replied back, “If you are at the FOX upfronts and you got a chance to go in a room, are you going to pick the one with Greg Olsen or the one with Tom Brady? …Brady is not going to let himself fail at this. He is not going to look like a big idiot.”

“Just the assumption that Brady is going to be great at this I think is a stretch” replied Fauria.

As for Olsen, Fauria believes if he continues the way he has started, he will come out on top in the end. “I guarantee you at some point in time, when his contract runs out, and he tells all the streaming services that all exist now, he ends up being the guy. He’s fine. And he lost his job to the greatest football player ever.”

Gresh is not nearly as big of an Olsen fan and said, “If Greg Olsen was so great, are the other networks going to fall all over themselves to try and hire this guy? Will ESPN say, ‘maybe we will get rid of Aikman and put Olsen in there?'”

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Charles Barkley: ‘I Would Listen’ Before Making Decisions About NBA Broadcast Future

“For the people I work with, man, it just sucks right now.”

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Charles Barkley
Courtesy: Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

The NBA is reportedly formalizing deals with The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal and Amazon for its next television media rights contract that would take effect beginning in the 2025-26 season. If Warner Bros. Discovery is unable to match or decides not to engage in such discussions, the company would lose broadcasting rights to the NBA and terminate a 40-year relationship that dates back to the 1984-85 campaign. At the same time, this has caused many sports fans to ponder over the future of Inside the NBA, a multiple-time Emmy Award-winning studio show featuring Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny “The Jet” Smith and Shaquille O’Neal.

Barkley, who signed a 10-year contract extension along with his colleagues on the show, confirmed in a recent interview on ESPN Cleveland that he has an opt-out in his deal should TNT Sports lose broadcasting rights to the NBA. Smith and O’Neal reportedly hold a similar clause with the future of Inside the NBA and the NBA on TNT remaining unknown. Barkley appeared on SiriusXM NBA Radio following the report from Tom Friend of Sports Business Journal on Wednesday morning and described the sentiment surrounding these negotiations.

“It sucks right now,” Barkley said. “For the people I work with, man, it just sucks right now. There’s nothing I can say because I worry about all the people I work with.”

Barkley explained that he enjoys golfing and/or fishing on a daily basis and does not look at losing the NBA as being fired. In fact, he hopes the Western Conference Finals quickly conclude so he can go back to playing golf every day over the next four months. The part that concerns him is the fact that he estimates 200 people could lose their jobs at the company should the relationship with the NBA come to a close. Although it remains unknown if anyone would sign with another network, the widespread perception is that all four members of the show would be coveted free agents.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen with Amazon, ESPN or if we lose it to NBC, so I’m not sure how to answer that question,” Barley said. “I just don’t know. Ernie [Johnson] would not go to another network – I’m damn sure about that. But I would listen; I would listen before I made any decisions.”

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