Connect with us
Jim Cutler Demos

Sports TV News

Chris Russo Blasts ESPN For Talking About Damian Lillard ‘Every Five Minutes’

“I don’t want to read another story; another podcast – listen to another GM or another ESPN reporter breaking down where Lillard’s going to play next year. Move on!”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Mad Dog Chris Russo
Courtesy: SiriusXM

The NBA offseason is a time when rumors swirl and news of a free agent signing or a trade could virtually be seconds away. One consistent topic of discussion dating back several years pertains to Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard and whether or not he will be moved. Lillard has reiterated his loyalty to the Trail Blazers organization and the city of Portland on numerous occasions; however, back-to-back seasons without a playoff berth could have him second guessing his future with the team.

The seven-time All-Star selection and member of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team is considered by many fans and analysts to be one of the greatest shooters to have ever played a game. As a result, where he ultimately lands is of great intrigue to many people invested in the basketball landscape. The fact that there is consistent discussion about it, however, can be perturbing to some who are sick of the noise and ready to receive an answer regarding the ultimate outcome.

“Enough of Damian Lillard – will you please?,” Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo said during his “What Are You Mad About?” segment on ESPN’s First Take. “Oh my gosh – and this is for [Brian Windhorst], I don’t need that report every five minutes for crying out loud. Miami; the Nets; does he stay in Portland?”

Various reports suggested that Lillard would choose his course of action by evaluating what Portland chose to do with the No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft. Rather than trading the pick for proven, veteran talent, the team selected guard Sterling “Scoot” Henderson. Even if the Trail Blazers’ plan is to develop Henderson alongside Lillard, the conversation will ostensibly continue throughout the offseason, with commentators such as Stephen A. Smith begging he be moved. The conversation is something in which Russo wants no part, as he would rather hear about news of transactions or free agent acquisitions than bouts of speculation.

“A lot of guys have ended up on bad teams and they’re Hall of Famers,” Russo remarked. “Have you heard of Oscar Robertson? He played on the Cincinnati Royals forever. We’ll live if Lillard has to stay in Portland; it’s not the end of the world. The NBA’s not going to cease.”

Russo is hoping the Lillard saga comes to an end relatively soon and chided the “Worldwide Leader” for the seemingly interminable amount of time it is devoting to the story.

“Next week, get it over with!,” Russo exclaimed. “I don’t want to read another story; another podcast – listen to another GM or another ESPN reporter breaking down where Lillard’s going to play next year. Move on!”

The aforementioned Smith and host Molly Qerim have been absent from the show throughout the week, leading Russo to appear with Christine Williamson, Dominique Foxworth and Freddie Coleman. Everyone on the set can understand his frustration – even though Russo considers Bill Walton to be the best Trail Blazers player of all team since he won a championship – and can only wonder what will happen if procrastination and/or delay of a definitive continues.

“I hear you because we’re waiting for a decision from Damian Lillard when it already seems he’s made his decision that he wants to stay in Portland,” Coleman said. “I will say this – if we’re having this discussion 365 days from now, if you thought he was mad today, wait until a year from now.”

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sports TV News

Sports Media Reacts to Charles Barkley Retirement Announcement

“We’re looking forward to another fantastic NBA on TNT season and further discussion of our future plans with him.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Screengrab from Charles Barkley on Club Shay Shay
Screengrab: Club Shay Shay on YouTube

Charles Barkley said on NBA TV after Game 4 of the NBA Finals that he will retire from television after next season, no matter what happens with TNT and the league. Near the conclusion of the NBA TV postgame show, Barkley said:

“There’s been a lot of noise the last few months and I just want to say, I’ve talked to all of the other networks, but I ain’t going nowhere other than TNT, but I have made the decision myself, no matter what happens, next year is going to be my last year on television. And I just want to say thank you to my NBA family, you guys have been great to me, my heart is full with joy and gratitude.”

Barkley went on to say that he wants to turn the baton over to someone like Jamal Crawford or Vince Carter should Inside the NBA continue with Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal.

TNT put out a statement that said, “Charles is a Hall of Famer and broadcasting icon who is and will always be a beloved member of the TNT Sports family. We’re looking forward to another fantastic NBA on TNT season and further discussion of our future plans with him.”

Several in sports media took to social media to post about their thoughts on Barkley’s career with TNT or wondering if Barkley’s ‘retirement’ is real:

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports TV News

Charles Barkley Announces He Will Retire From TV After Next Season

“Next year, I am just going to retire after 25 years, and I just wanted to say thank you and I wanted y’all to hear it from me first.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

Screenbrad from NBA TV with Charles Barkley
Screengrab: NBA TV

Charles Barkley is not waiting. After voicing his frustration several times with the way the media rights negotiations have been handled by his current employer, Warner Bros. Discovery/TNT, Barkley is no longer waiting for them to make a decision, he has announced his own decision.

After Game 4 of the NBA Finals concluded between the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics, Barkley took time on the postgame show on NBA TV to announce no matter what happens, he will retire as an NBA commentator after next season, which will be his 25th with TNT.

“I’ve been thinking guys,” Barkley said “I want to say this, because you guys are my family. I really love TNT, all the people who work here, NBA Television. You guys have been great to me for 24 years and I just want to say thank you to my entire NBA family. I love you guys.

“There’s been a lot of noise the last few months and I just want to say, I’ve talked to all of the other networks, but I ain’t going nowhere other than TNT, but I have made the decision myself, no matter what happens, next year is going to be my last year on television. And I just want to say thank you to my NBA family, you guys have been great to me, my heart is full with joy and gratitude.

“But I am going to pass the baton at the end of next year. I hope the NBA stays with TNT, but for me personally, I wanted you guys to hear it from me, because I am not doing any more interviews, don’t y’all be calling me, nobody calling me, I am not talking about this again. But I wanted to tell my NBA TV and TNT family that I am not going to another network, but I am going to pass the baton to either Jamal Crawford, Vince Carter or you Steve [Smith]. Next year, I am just going to retire after 25 years, and I just wanted to say thank you and I wanted y’all to hear it from me first.”

The NBA’s current media rights agreements with Disney/ESPN and WBD/TNT expire after next season. Many reports have said the NBA will soon sign agreements with Disney, NBCUniversal and Amazon to be the league’s new broadcasting partners beginning with the 2025-26 season. The Wall Street Journal has reported the total value of the new media rights packages is expected to be $76 billion over 11 years.

Rumors of a possible fourth media package being made in order for the NBA to keep its 40-year relationship with Turner Sports going have surfaced, but it looks like either way there will be changes coming to Inside the NBA, the award-winning show Barkley is a part of along with Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading

Sports TV News

FOX Sports Moving UFL Games to Friday Nights in 2025

“The regular season average television audience of 816,000 was more than 30% higher than the pace from the previous year.”

Barrett Sports Media

Published

on

The United Football League logo

FOX Sports CEO Eric Shanks recently confirmed a report from Deadline last month that said United Football League games would move to Friday nights in 2025. The Deadline report had said FOX planned to replace WWE Smackdown with sports coverage from college football and basketball as well as games from the UFL.

Shanks’ comments were made during a Zoom with reporters about the news of their new agreement with the NTT IndyCar Series. SI’s Mike Mitchell reported that the UFL worked with FOX to move the games so they could complete their auto racing deal.

Shanks said many of FOX’s UFL games would be moved to Friday night when asked about the change but did not provide more detail.

The UFL was split between FOX and ABC/ESPN this season. The regular season average television audience of 816,000 was more than 30% higher than the pace from the previous year and the recent conference championship games were up 57% over the averages from the USFL and XFL last season. According to Mitchell, the league saw a large increase in the 18-49 demographic on FOX compared to USFL programming in 2023.

Sign up for the BSM 8@8

The Top 8 Sports Media Stories of the Day, sent directly to your inbox, every morning at 8am ET.

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Advertisement

Upcoming Events

Barrett Media Writers

Copyright © 2024 Barrett Media.