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Jim Gray Reflects on His Time With the NBA on NBC

Gray told Scoop B that watching Michael Jordan win three straight championships and watching his greatness was a highlight of his tenure with the package.

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Legendary sports journalist and broadcaster Jim Gray has some very fond memories from working in this business, but looking back on his time spent covering the NBA on NBC, Gray said some of his best memories involve two of the game’s icons.

In a recent interview with Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson, Gray was asked what memories stood out. Jim said Michael Jordan’s run with the Chicago Bulls really stood out.

“To view that to see that, to see that dynasty, that spectacle that the Bulls put on with Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan and all the great players – Dennis Rodman – it was just so much fun, and it was excellent,” he said. “We were seeing excellence personified winning those fourth, fifth, sixth championships.”

When the Bulls dynasty eventually broke up, Gray called it “sad” but reminded himself of all the other incredible players and teams he got to watch while at NBC.

“We saw the beginning of Shaq and Kobe, the Jordan years, Vin-sanity, Tim Duncan and the excellence that was there. Hakim Olajuwon,” he said. “So there was just a lot of great things that happened over the course of time.”

“It was a great time in the NBA, and it was great time to be involved,” Jim Gray added.

Scoop B pivoted to the late Kobe Bryant and asked Gray if it was harder for him to develop a rapport with Kobe versus Jordan. Jim said the dynamic with Kobe was different considering he knew Bryant’s parents. When Bryant got drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers, Gray was already living in LA and so it definitely helped that he had already developed a relationship with Kobe and his family.

“A familiar face to the Bryant family was very fortuitous and lucky for me to have been able to be in that position,” Gray said. “So having a relationship with Kobe was one of the great joys of my life and to see him play. And covering Michael and being able to talk to him and interview him and be on those broadcasts all those years was fantastic too.”

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Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit Featured As Commentary Team for ‘NCAA Football 25’

“I’m so excited to FINALLY announce that I’m part of @EASPORTSCollege
. I’m proud to be a partner and one of the voices of the game once again.”

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An image of Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler
Courtesy: Sports Illustrated

NCAA Football fans rejoice — NCAA Football 25 will feature ESPN’s Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit. Fowler will be making his first appearance in the game while Herbstreit will be doing it for the 14th time. The pair confirmed the news today via their X accounts:

The pair were finally able to reveal their involvement as more news came out about the game starting today. Multiple news items about the game were reported, including the participation of all 134 Division I football programs, and that college football players could opt into the game for NIL purposes. According to The Athletic’s Chris Vannini, players will receive $600 and a free copy of the game for opting in. Those who fail to opt in will be replaced by a generic avatar.

Following the initial news, Front Office Sports revealed more names attached to NCAA Football 25 — Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, Kevin Connors, and David Pollack. All but Pollack, who was laid off from the company in June, are ESPN employees.

The last NCAA Football game was released in 2013 and started the conversation of whether players should be paid for their participation. EA Sports then stopped putting out versions of the game, despite critical and commercial success. Fan projects like College Football Revamped strived to bring the game into modern times — but now it’s no longer needed. College Football 25 will be revealed in earnest this May, with a release date slated for the summer.

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Joy Taylor and Taylor Rooks to Launch New Podcast

“This show is a space for us to be honest about our experiences, our emotions, and the way we view the world.”

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Joy Taylor and Taylor Rooks podcast logo
Courtesy: Two Personal Podcast

Fox Sports 1’s Joy Taylor and Thursday Night Football’s Taylor Rooks are teaming up for a new podcast, Two Personal, which will debut on March 6. The description of the new content says it will take on subjects beyond the world of sports such as mental health, discrmination and other social issues. The two friends plan to share things they would normally talk about only in private.

“Joy [Taylor] and I have navigated our careers together as sisters in sport, but Two Personal allows us to expand and share our private thoughts and conversations with our listeners,” said Rooks. “This show is a space for us to be honest about our experiences, our emotions, and the way we view the world. There is infinitely more to us than what we have allowed the public to see, and I’m thrilled to be in a place where I feel ready to bare my full self and give an honest look into who I am completely.”

“I am so excited to launch Two Personal with Taylor [Rooks]” Joy Taylor said. “We have spent our careers in sports and now have created an opportunity to show a different side of ourselves. The authentic, raw and exposing side of our experiences and personalities outside of sports. We can’t wait to bring our girl talk to the world!”

The podcast is scheduled to drop a new episode each Wednesday on YouTube and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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Report: Amazon Prime Video Paying $120M to Stream NFL Playoff Game

NBCU wanted to keep the game, however, the report says Amazon has a clause in its agreement for ‘Thursday Night Football’ which allows it to have first choice.

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting Amazon and the NFL have reached agreement on a $120 million deal for Prime Video to have exclusive rights to stream an NFL playoff game at the end of the 2024 season.

Amazon had passed on the opportunity to air the game this past season. It subsequently aired on Peacock in a deal which was valued at $110 million. The AFC Wild Card round matchup between the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs made sports media history, garnering an average minute audience (AMA) of 23.0 million viewers, making the contest the most-streamed live event in the history of the United States.

NBCUniversal also revealed that the contest reached 27.6 million total viewers and peaked at an average of 24.6 million viewers during the second quarter. Engagement with the playoff game accounted for the largest internet event in history with 30% of internet traffic prioritizing the game at this time.

NBCU wanted to keep the game, however, the report says Amazon has a clause in its agreement for ‘Thursday Night Football’ which allows it to have first choice.

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