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Bonta Hill Thanks Rob Parker For Encouraging Him to Develop Media Versatility

“…you said, ‘Young brother, do both. Don’t ever let nobody tell you you can’t do both.’”

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Bonta Hill
Courtesy: San Francisco State University's College of Liberal & Creative Arts

The 2023 National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Convention and Career Fair is just a few weeks away and will feature accomplished names in the media at large. In late June, the organization announced that ESPN Head of NBA and Studio Production, Dave Roberts, and FOX Sports Radio host Rob Parker would be inducted into the NABJ Hall of Fame, honoring their achievements as “Black journalists and communicators who have made outstanding contributions to the industry.”

Rob Parker made an appearance on The Morning Roast on 95.7 The Game, but before they started asking him questions about sports in the San Francisco Bay area, Bonta Hill recalled his first experience at the annual event. Hill, who attended the City College of San Francisco at the age of 26, wrote and edited sports stories for The Guardian and was always looking for ways to broaden his skillset.

Whether it was through public address announcing, working as a newspaper correspondent or interning at radio stations, Hill was determined to stand out by breaking the mold of solely concentrating in one area. Even so, he was not entirely sure that being a multifaceted talent in sports media was a shrewd career move since the norm over the years was to concentrate in one area. Long before he was working with Greg Papa on 95.7 The Game, Hill attended his first NABJ Convention in New Orleans, La. and sought out the advice of professionals in attendance.

“One guy told me, ‘Man, you’re going to have to pick one. You’re going to have to either write or you’re either going to have to do radio,’” Hill told Parker. “I actually ran into you and you gave me five minutes – I’ll never forget it – you gave me five minutes and you said, ‘Young brother, do both. Don’t ever let nobody tell you you can’t do both.’”

Similarly to Hill, Parker was advised to select one career path rather than spreading his talent across various niches in the industry. All these years later, Parker is being inducted into the Hall of Fame, and he continues to write, edit, host a radio show and a podcast. Parker is the founder of MLBbro, an outlet dedicated to covering Black and brown Major League Baseball players of the past and present. Today, he hosts the Inside the (Rob) Parker podcast and The MLBbro Show Podcast – The Mixtape, while also operating the website.

When he was at ESPN, Parker remembers he would frequently grab meals with Jason Dumas, a production assistant, and one day, decided to ask him where he saw himself in the future. Dumas responded by saying that he wanted to be on the air, prompting Parker to advise him to prepare to leave ESPN. Few production assistants appeared on camera, and he ended up taking Parker’s advice and working around the country. Today, Dumas is working in San Francisco, Calif. as the sports director at KRON4 and NBA reporter for the digital outlet, Bleacher Report.

“I’m proud of him, and that story you told me, I’m glad that was your experience because people tried to tell me that as well about not doing more than one thing; it’s just not true,” Parker said. “Nowadays, that’s what everybody’s doing, but back then when I first started, I was doing local TV and I had a radio show and a newspaper column. People criticized me about spreading myself too thin and [said that] I should only be doing the column and whatnot. Here it is 37 years later and they’re putting me in the Hall of Fame, so I think I made the right decision.”

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Tom Crean Added to SiriusXM NBA Draft Coverage

The former Marquette, Indiana, and Georgia men’s basketball coach will co-host SiriusXM’s NBA Draft Preview Show, alongside Eddie Johnson and Justin Termine.

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NBA Draft logo, SiriusXM logo and a photo of Tom Crean

The 78th edition of the NBA Draft will be the first to be held over two days. The first round will take place on Wednesday June 26 and will be followed by the second round on Thursday June 27. The draft will be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. SiriusXM will provide full coverage on SiriusXM NBA Radio channel 86, and they have announced Tom Crean will take part in a preview show prior to each round.

The former Marquette, Indiana, and Georgia men’s basketball coach will co-host SiriusXM’s NBA Draft Preview Show, alongside Eddie Johnson and Justin Termine, on Tuesday, June 25 on Wednesday, June 26 prior to Round 1 at 4 p.m. ET, and on Thursday, June 27, prior to Round 2 at 2 p.m. ET.

Crean returned to ESPN as a college basketball analyst in December 2022 after having worked for them previously during the 2017-2018 season. Crean was fired after four seasons at Georgia, prior to his ESPN return.

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Dan Woike: ‘I Can’t Imagine’ JJ Redick and LeBron James Podcast Will Continue

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JJ Redick
Courtesy: Phil Ellsworth, ESPN Images

Following the conclusion of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks, JJ Redick has reportedly agreed to a contract to serve as the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Redick, who recently broadcast the best-of-seven series for ESPN on ABC with play-by-play announcer Mike Breen, analyst Doris Burke and reporter Lisa Salters, is reportedly in the process of compiling his coaching staff for his first season leading the Lakers. Although Redick does not have any NBA coaching experience, he played 15 seasons in the league with six teams and has been an analyst for ESPN over parts of the last four years. Outside of his work with ESPN, Redick also built his ThreeFourTwo Productions company and co-hosted The Old Man and the Three podcast.

This past March, Redick launched a new podcast with Lakers forward and four-time NBA champion LeBron James titled Mind the Game. Episodes of the show contained nuanced basketball discussions that some people feel gave Redick an inherent edge in the head coaching search. Dan Patrick recently had Dan Woike, Lakers beat writer for the Los Angeles Times, on his program, the Dan Patrick Show, and asked about the future of the podcast with James.

“I can’t imagine it’s going to continue,” Woike said. “Sad, right? We might get a season finale episode…. Who knows what’s going to happen here.”

Woike spoke about Redick’s eclectic interests that include basketball, broadcasting, golf, wine and fancy suits. Part of this transition that Woike will be watching is how Redick makes the adjustments and focuses the energy that he has. The organization, he stated, is not hiring a podcaster and believes that Redick has an aptitude and shrewdness towards basketball and is serious about the endeavor. While Redick and James have a good relationship with strong rapport, it is relatively new and something Woike perceives as critical to everything going on. Nonetheless, he does not think they can continue the show because it would be an “unnecessary distraction” to the team.

“They’re paying him to coach, they’re not paying him to podcast,” Woike said. “His divestment from his podcast empire is sort of an interesting media side-note to this to see kind of how much he steps back and kind of what happens to it because it’s been really successful for him.”

Rather than asking him another question, Patrick presented Woike with a sentence and asked him to complete it. The statement was, “If he doesn’t have the podcast with LeBron…,” and Woike proceeded to outline that the Lakers would then have more questions about his ability to coach James. Patrick then immediately followed up by asking if he still would have landed the Lakers’ head coaching job if he did not have the podcast, to which Woike replied that he believed it would still be possible. Former Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski was reportedly advising the organization throughout its head coaching search, and Redick previously played for him at the university.

Woike referenced a specific clip from the podcast in which Redick and James were discussing analytics and three-point shooting. At one point, James pushed back against the analytics by asking what would happen if a team missed 27 straight three-point shots, as the Houston Rockets did in Game 7 of the 2018 Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Redick quickly replied by asking if it had happened since, leading James to admit that he was right.

“Now how that plays in the locker room at halftime when you’re down 17 to the Charlotte Hornets and everybody’s tired, who knows,” Woike said. “That is a huge question, but I think, to be quite fair, there was going to be elements of question with that with Dan Hurley too.”

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ESPN LA 710 Announces New Fall Lineup

This follows announcements made earlier in the week which saw play-by-play partnerships added with USC and the LA Kings and a new contract for afternoon show co-host Scott Kaplan.

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Logo for ESPN LA 710 and a graphic for their new fall lineup
Graphic Courtesy: ESPN LA 710

ESPN LA 710 announced more news today, introducing a new lineup which will start on Monday, September 9. This follows announcements made earlier in the week which saw play-by-play partnerships added with USC and the LA Kings and a new contract for afternoon show co-host Scott Kaplan.

The new lineup will see morning drive start with Mike Greenberg’s Greeny , followed by Travis Rodgers and Allen Sliwa moving back an hour to start at 9a PT. Steve Mason and John Ireland will then air from 12p to 3p PT followed by the afternoon team of Jorge Sedano and Scott Kaplan moving to 3p-6p PT.

In addition to USC and the Kings, the station has play-by-play agreements with the Lakers, the Rams, the Angels and LAFC.

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