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Stephen A. Smith: Draymond Green Claims Do Not Have a Shred of Merit

“I have a job to do – that is absolutely true – and if I did what Draymond Green said I did, I wouldn’t apologize for it because I’m doing my job.”

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Stephen A. Smith
Courtesy: David M. Russell, Disney

Earlier in the NBA season, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green was suspended indefinitely after hitting Phoenix Suns center Jusuf Nurkić in the face. It was the latest transgression within a long list of contemptuous behavior from the four-time NBA champion, who received counseling and returned after missing 16 games. Green recently appeared on an episode of The Big Podcast with Shaq where he discussed the time he was suspended.

During the conversation, he revealed that ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith reached out to him and said that it had been difficult for them to talk about him over the few days ensuing. Green explained that he replied by saying that it was hard for him to watch but did anyway to see what everyone was saying.

Green continued his remarks by explaining that whenever someone discussed Smith with him, they would rail about how they disliked him. Conversely, Green would defend Smith by saying that he knew the man and that he was a “cool dude and a real dude.” At the same time though, he did not appreciate the comments that were made about him amid the impediments he was facing.

“I know you got to do your thing and say what you’ve got to say, but at not one point did you say, ‘Well, y’all are saying this person needs help,’” Green explained. “‘Now I know the person. Say what you want about the basketball player – that’s fine – but I know the person,’ but to sit back and see those that claim to know and appreciate me as a human being just flow with the narrative because it was easy to do, I lost a lot of respect for a lot of people.”

Smith appeared on the Willard & Dibs afternoon drive program on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, Calif., the flagship radio station for Golden State Warriors basketball, where he uttered his response. Within his opening remarks, he immediately stated that what Green said was “utter bullshit,” expletive language that was censored on the FM airwaves but heard on the YouTube and Twitch live streams. Later in the show, co-host Mark Willard expressed how Smith cursing early in his answer was indicative of the level of discontent and anger he felt pertaining to the situation.

Even though the episode of the show was released on Wednesday, Smith did not see the clip until Thursday morning when producers of ESPN morning show First Take sent it for him. Smith addressed the discourse on the show and expounded on his perspective during the radio hit shortly before NBA Countdown.

“Anybody in the business that knows me; anybody outside of the business that wants to know about the business knows how I feel about him, not just as a professional, not just as a winner, but as a man,” Smith said. “And for me to have the relationship that I have with him, to hear about this because you on Shaq’s podcast, he pissed me off.

“So now both of us are pissed because to be quite honest with you, I don’t think what he’s saying has a shred of merit whatsoever, and that’s the first time that I’ve ever found myself in a position where I could listen to Draymond Green and don’t feel he has a shred of merit to what the hell he’s saying.”

As Smith outlined instances where he defended Green throughout his NBA career, he pointed out that the Warriors forward has been ejected from games 20 times, second to Rasheed Wallace on the NBA all-time leader list. Moreover, he was suspended four times in a nine-month span, underscoring the difficulty he has had controlling his emotions on the court. Some of the examples Smith mentioned included when Green kicked LeBron James during the 2016 NBA Finals, knocking out then-teammate Jordan Poole in a practice and kicking Steven Adams during a game.

“All of this stuff has been articulated by me live on national television in the face of one piece of opposition after another who has spoken against Draymond Green for years,” Smith said, “and somehow you were upset with a bunch of people, but I’m the name that comes out of your mouth when you were on Shaq’s podcast.”

Smith takes umbrage towards what Green had to say, claiming that it is not true and that he did not grant him the courtesy of having a private conversation about it. Additionally, he stated that he would not say anything about Green to that degree without letting him know how he felt beforehand. While he was discussing the assertion on First Take, Smith conveyed that Green was lucky he had not found out about it while recording The Stephen A. Smith Podcast, foreboding what would have been a more acerbic and caustic response.

“I have a job to do – that is absolutely true – and if I did what Draymond Green said I did, I wouldn’t apologize for it because I’m doing my job,” Smith said. “And in the face of the evidence that had mounted against him, I’m in no position to really, really defend him, but I didn’t do what he said. I didn’t just sit there. Now if you want to take one particular show, what about all the other shows that I did? What about all the other times that I came to your defense?”

Green has played 12 seasons in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors and has expanded his presence into contributing to and creating original content in the sports media space. Green is appearing on Inside the NBA during the NBA Western Conference Finals on TNT while also continuing to host his eponymous podcast, The Draymond Green Show, through The Volume media company founded by Colin Cowherd. Smith believes he is going to be a star in the business but ultimately is not fond of what he did and the misrepresentation that he promulgated.

“If you’re going to have a problem with us, could you at least have the decency to contextualize properly and hold us accountable for what we’ve actually done or are doing instead of making something up just to garner favor with a cadre of individuals that you think is going to point the finger at us in a negative direction,” Smith said, referring to an incident earlier in the year involving Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. “Those are the kind of things that I think are weak as hell, and that is my problem.”

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Dan Patrick: ESPN Was an ‘Echo Chamber’

“When I was at ESPN, you’re told what you’re supposed to talk about, you’re told you have to have ESPN analysts on.”

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Screengrab from OutLick.com's Don't @ Me with Dan Dakich and guest Dan Patrick
Screengrab: Don't @ Me/OutKick.com

Dan Patrick was a guest of Dan Dakich on his OutKick.com show Don’t @ Me and the two talked about several topics including Patrick’s plan to retire at the end of 2027. Patrick shared a story with Dakich about the day he first realized he didn’t want to continue at ESPN.

“There was one day when I was doing the 6 o’clock SportsCenter and I remember I threw it out to Sal Paolantonio with the Eagles. He’s doing his report and I’m not listening to anything he is saying because in my mind I am thinking, ‘I am going through the motions here, I am not getting any better.’ I remember coming home that night and I said to my wife, ‘ I don’t think I want to stay at ESPN…I don’t know, I think I might want to leave after this contract’s up, because I wasn’t getting any better.

“And that’s why I went on my own, because I needed to get my ass kicked. And we did the show for three years in my attic at my house, it wasn’t anything glamorous that I was leaving for, but I needed to jump start that again. And I accomplished it. I’m the first person to get out of Alcatraz and swim safely to the shore and live to tell about it and I’m good. I’ve accomplished what I wanted to accomplish and it’s time for somebody else to come in and do this, somebody younger.”

Dakich replied, “You’re great man, you’re not good, you’re great. And what you did was be a trailblazer…People don’t leave ESPN unless they ask you to leave. You know why I left? Other than the fact that I maybe was too controversial. I got bored. I get bored easy, and I got tired of ‘Don’t do this’ and ‘Don’t do that’ …so I go to OutKick where they let me say whatever the hell I want, and I don’t get in trouble.”

Patrick agreed with Dakich about the way ESPN dictates most of the topics and decides who can or cannot come on for analysis. “When I was at ESPN, you’re told what you’re supposed to talk about, you’re told you have to have ESPN analysts on,” he said. “It’s an echo chamber. And I just kept thinking that we needed to have people from outside instead of just our analysts on and that was not met well. It just felt like when Disney took over, the walls kind of got tighter, things shrunk, it wasn’t as much fun there…I felt like I didn’t graduate, I didn’t progress, I didn’t get any better.

“Berman left, Bob Ley left, Olbermann left, Kilborn left, Tirico left, Chris Myers left, Rich Eisen left. They all left, and I was just there going, ‘ Oh my god, I don’t want to be laughed at, I want to be laughed with. I gotta get out.’

Patrick said he turned down a five-year contract extension and that his boss “couldn’t believe it.”

Patrick said he believed he had been selfish long enough and that it was time to be able to spend more time with his family.

“You have to be selfish to be good at just about anything it feels like, and I thought I had been selfish to get to this point and I didn’t want to continue to be selfish to my family,” he said.

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Merrill Reese, Voice of the Eagles Since 1977, to Receive 2024 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award

“For nearly a half century, fans tuning into Eagles games, including opposing fans, have had the privilege of hearing Merrill’s legendary voice.”

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Logo for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a photo of Merrill Reese
Photo Courtesy: Pro Football Hall of Fame

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced that longtime Philadelphia Eagles radio play-by-play voice Merrill Reese has been chosen to receive the 2024 Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. Reese is currently the longest-serving play-by-play announcer in the league, having called Eagles games since 1977.

“Each year, the Hall of Fame recognizes an individual who has dedicated their career to improving radio and television in professional football, and this year’s recipient, Merrill Reese, represents exactly what we look for when we talk about who’s made a big impact in broadcasting,” said Jim Porter, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “For nearly a half century, fans tuning into Eagles games, including opposing fans, have had the privilege of hearing Merrill’s legendary voice.”

In a release announcing the award, the Hall of Fame said when they called Reese to tell him the news his response was, “Oh, my god. Thank you so much. I can’t tell you what this means to me.”

This year will be Reese’s 48th consecutive season as a team announcer. His first year he served as the color analyst before team play-by-play announcer Charlie Swift passed away and Reese moved over to call the action.

Reese has won numerous awards including Pennsylvania Sportscaster of the Year and the Lindsey Nelson Award for Excellence in Sportscasting. He has also been inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the Temple University Communications Hall of Fame and the Overbrook High School Hall of Fame.

Reese will be honored during the 2024 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week in Canton, Ohio coming up in early August.

Past Winners of the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award:

2023 – Fred Gaudelli 
2022 – Howard Katz 
2021 – John Facenda
2020 – Joe Buck 
2019 – Dick Ebersol 
2018 – Andrea Kremer
2017 – David Hill 
2016 – James Brown
2015 – Tom Jackson
2014 – Bob Trumpy 
2013 – Al Michaels
2012 – Len Dawson 
2011 – Jim Nantz 
2010 – Chris Berman 
2009 – Irv Cross 
2008 – Dan Dierdorf 
2007 – Don Meredith 
2006 – Lesley Visser
2005 – Myron Cope 
2004 – Van Miller 
2003 – Don Criqui 
2002 – John Madden
2001 – Roone Arledge 
2000 – Ray Scott
1999 – Dick Enberg
1998 – Val Pinchbeck
1997 – Charlie Jones
1996 – Jack Buck
1995 – Frank Gifford
1994 – Pat Summerall
1993 – Curt Gowdy
1992 – Chris Schenkel
1991 – Ed Sabol
1990 – Lindsey Nelson
1989 – Bill McPhail

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Matt Chazanow Named Radio Play-by-Play Voice of NC State Wolfpack

“The passion and power of the Pack is renowned in college athletics and to be entrusted to take the baton from Gary Hahn and tell the stories of NC State is truly humbling.

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Graphic announcing Matt Chazanow as the new voice of the NC State Wolfpack
Graphic Courtesy: NC State Athletics

NC State and Learfield’s Wolfpack Sports Properties have announced Matt Chazanow as the new Director of Broadcasting and play-by-play announcer for football and men’s basketball. According to a release from the school, Chazanow was one of more than 150 applicants for the position.

Chazanow, who had been in a similar role at Washington State since 2015, will take over for Gary Hahn who called Wolfpack games for 34 years. Chazanow is from New Jersey but worked in Winston-Salem, NC and his wife is a North Carolina native.

“I’m so excited to welcome Matt Chazanow as our new ‘Voice of the Wolfpack,'” said NC State Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan in a release. “Chaz understands that this role isn’t only about calling games, but about bringing special moments and memories to Wolfpack fans of all ages. While he is a very talented radio announcer, he will also be a great representative of our university, our brand, and our culture.

“I also want to thank Gary Hahn for his period of service to NC State. There are generations of NC State fans that have memories of Gary calling their favorite Wolfpack plays, and he will always be a part of Wolfpack Nation.”

“I am so thrilled for this incredible opportunity,” said Chazanow.  “The passion and power of the Pack is renowned in college athletics and to be entrusted to take the baton from Gary Hahn and tell the stories of NC State is truly humbling. I can’t wait to get started.”

“An established voice in the broadcasting world, Chaz will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Wolfpack Sports Network,” said Kyle Winchester, General Manager of Wolfpack Sports Properties. “We’re delighted for him to join our world-class team and lead our coverage of the Wolfpack starting this season.”

A graduate of Syracuse, Chazanow has been with Learfield since 2008 and has also done national play-by-play for Westwood One.

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