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Boomer Esiason: Dave Portnoy, Washington Post Article ‘Classic Example of Cancel Culture’

“The last one he gave a negative review, and the next thing you know, the place is packed.”

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Boomer Esiason
Courtesy: Mary Kouw, CBS

Dave Portnoy caught wind of a piece that was being written about him by The Washington Post pertaining to a pizza festival Barstool Sports is holding in Brooklyn, N.Y. this Saturday. Instead of watching the piece be published, he decided to contact the reporter, food writer Emily Heil, who was seeking comment from advertisers involved in the festival. In an email, she wrote that Portnoy “has a history of misogynistic comments and other problematic behavior,” a statement the Barstool founder and owner felt was “tortious interference.”

When Portnoy called Heil, she initially denied that she had written an email about Portnoy to sponsors about the story. After Portnoy read it back to her, she confirmed that it had indeed been done in order to get people to respond, asserting that negative commentary elicits more responses than its counterpart. WFAN host Gregg Giannotti described the occurrence on the Boomer & Gio morning show on Thursday, prompting co-host Boomer Esiason to give his genuine reaction to what had happened.

“Classic, classic example of cancel culture,” Esiason said. “She’s using her platform as a Washington Post reporter – that’s her backstop – and she’s sending out an email from that email address and she’s basically associating him with something she thinks he is. It’s the absolute obvious cancel, I guess, cancel culture syndrome if you will.”

Giannotti made mention of the fact that Portnoy has raised $50 million for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 global pandemic through his “Barstool Fund.” Moreover, he articulated how the entrepreneur has helped pizza places through reviewing them, even if he does not grant every restaurant a high score. Portnoy’s “One Bite” videos garner millions of views on social media and have become a trusted source of information pertaining to local outlets.

“The last one he gave a negative review,” Esiason said, referring to Dragon Pizza in Somerville, Mass., “and the next thing you know, the place is packed.”

Watching the incident unfold in real time through Portnoy’s recording of the phone call and videos on social media was fascinating for Esiason and Giannotti. The call ended with him agreeing to be interviewed by The Washington Post at 10 a.m. on Thursday; however, the reporter canceled the call and asked to reschedule after details of the interaction became public knowledge.

“This is a really bad look on her part and the whole industry’s part,” Esiason said. “She’s trying to impart her feelings into a question to get people to respond. What she’s really doing is probably trying to get them to pull out of sponsoring the pizza fest.”

Both hosts believe that Heil is taking advantage of her platform as a reporter for The Washington Post in an attempt to thwart their business because of her own aversion to its practices. The disclosure of this ordeal is somewhat disturbing for them, acknowledging how it is extraordinary that something of this magnitude is taking place out in the open

“This is not someone writing, ‘This is what I think of this guy,’” Giannotti explained. “She said she’s doing reporting, so when you do reporting and throw out there, ‘This guy’s got a history of misogynistic and problematic behavior….’”

“And she doesn’t take into account the Barstool employees,” Esiason added, “[who are] the people that are benefiting from the pizza fest and all the stuff that he’s done for small business because she doesn’t like the way that Barstool does its business.”

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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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