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Adam Lefkoe to Dan Patrick: WBD Execs Said It’s Not Over, We’re Still Talking to NBA

“You still have Zaslav talking to Adam Silver; they’re still really, really trying. That’s what I’m being told.”

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Adam Lefkoe
Courtesy: Jeremy Freeman, Warner Bros. Discovery

The conversation surrounding the future of media rights in the National Basketball Association has continued to amplify over the last several months, much of which is centered on the future of the NBA on TNT. On Wednesday, The New York Times released an article that discussed the situation surrounding the show that included studio analyst Shaquille O’Neal revealing that the cast of the show had been asked not to speak on the situation. Charles Barkley scorched Warner Bros. Discovery executives while on the Dan Patrick Show last week and provided his thoughts on the situation surrounding the media rights.

Adam Lefkoe, who hosts NBA coverage for TNT, was a guest on the Thursday edition of the Dan Patrick Show, was asked to be on the show by producer Todd Fritz and obliged. Before he began the interview, Patrick said that his goal was to get Lefkoe in trouble in what seemed like a sarcastic manner, and then asked if there were any topics that they could not discuss pertaining to the broadcast property.

“I’ve been prepped, you know,” Lefkoe said. “Because Todd was like, ‘Hey, love to have you come on and talk about the Western Conference Finals,’ and I was like, ‘Sure, Todd.’ I was like, ‘I’m sure you want to break down how Dereck Lively has 108 dunks and [Maxi] Kleber only has six and his impact on the glass is a huge difference.’”

Lefkoe is a co-host of The Big Podcast with Shaq featuring O’Neal and is often utilized as a fill-in host when Ernie Johnson is absent from Inside the NBA. With his experience and insight into the NBA on TNT property, Lefkoe had a feeling that the Dan Patrick Show would want to address the ambiguity surrounding its future with the league.

“We know how this goes,” Lefkoe said. “You got Charles out here. When Charles came on your show, I jokingly hit up a P.R. person and said, ‘Those talking points you gave him were great. I can’t believe you told him to say those things.’”

Lefkoe later explained that he did not believe anything to be above Barkley’s paygrade, a sentiment that Barkley himself gave the impression of indirectly cosigning while appearing on SI Media with Jimmy Traina this week. Barkley said that executives with the network know better than to bother him and revealed that he did not have a relationship with Warner Bros. Discovery president and chief executive officer David Zaslav outside of meeting him at the company’s Upfront in New York City. Lefkoe, however, did receive information when he was recently getting his makeup done and running into higher-ups at the company.

“They just said, ‘Listen, it’s not over, we’re still talking to them,’” Lefkoe explained. “You still have Zaslav talking to Adam Silver; they’re still really, really trying. That’s what I’m being told.”

Recalling a conversation Lefkoe had with his agent regarding TNT Sports’ reported ability to match rights, he remembers thinking that lawyers do not often complete paperwork in a timely manner and do not want to forsake billable hours. Throughout the process, he has found it amusing that different outlets have posted pictures of the Inside the NBA cast with text explaining that the show was over with no further context.

Warner Bros. Discovery currently pays the NBA a reported $1.2 billion annually for media rights to the league, which expires following the conclusion of next season. The company, which has broadcast NBA games on its networks since the 1984-85 season, reportedly did not reach a deal with the league during its exclusive 90-day negotiating window as an incumbent rightsholder. Patrick then wanted to know Lefkoe’s plan to supplant Johnson at the network, to which he explained that he stays late just to watch Inside the NBA in studio and watch the games with the cast.

“And then Ernie comes in and he goes, ‘Kid, what are you still doing here?,’ and then I am like, ‘Yes, now I get my six minutes of Ernie time before he goes into his bunker and starts working,’ and so it’s one of the greatest thrills of my life for him to be my colleague,” Lefkoe said. “I don’t think that he’s replaceable.”

Lefkoe reminisced that he was watching a game recently with a friend of his who had several writers and comedians in attendance. Upon their finding out about his role with the NBA on TNT, he was informed by one of them that Inside the NBA is a representation of perfected comedy. Off of that point, Lefkoe was curious to know how Johnson plays into that paradigm, to which it was explained that Johnson is indicative of rules that are disobeyed by the studio analysts.

“He calls himself the worst traffic cop ever, but he creates the boundaries that they break,” Lefkoe said. “That’s why the ages there are so great because Shaq gets to be 15 again because Ernie to him is still Grandpa Ernie.”

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Mark Schlereth: Level of Intrigue for ‘Receiver’ on Netflix is ‘Not Less Than Zero, Although It’s Close’

“It’s not zero.”

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Mark Schlereth
Courtesy: FOX Sports

Netflix recently released the trailer for Receiver, a 10-part docuseries produced by NFL Films, Omaha Productions and 2PM Productions that will premiere on July 10. The show features NFL stars Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Amon-Ra St. Brown, giving viewers a look into their lives on and off the gridiron. The series is a sequel to Quarterback, which premiered last summer and received stellar reviews from a large faction of viewers when it highlighted quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes, Kirk Cousins and Marcus Mariota. Mat Smith, who was filling in for Mike Evans on Friday’s edition of Schlereth and Evans, mentioned the series as part of the show’s “4 Down Territory” segment in which they discuss key topics from the world of football.

Smith outlined that the show had problems getting more quarterbacks to commit last year and could not really pull off the concept because of its intensity. The show, however, did exhibit parts of their personal lives and ended up following Mahomes as he won Super Bowl LVII from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Heading into the new season, Smith was curious to get Schlereth’s perspective on the level of intrigue he had in the sequel.

“It’s not zero,” Schlereth said. “It’s not less than zero, although it’s close.”

Schlereth played 12 seasons in the NFL as an offensive lineman and currently serves as a broadcast analyst for FOX Sports in addition to co-hosting morning drive on Denver Sports 104.3 The Fan. Smith then asked him if he would be interested should the third season of the show be titled Offensive Lineman and presumably follow athletes in that position.

“Zero,” Schlereth said. “Yeah, I already did that – I lived that. That was the thing with the Quarterback thing. Everybody was like, ‘Oh, you got to watch this, you got to watch it. Oh, it’s unbelievable, you’ve got to watch it,’ and so I was like, ‘Alright, I’ll watch one episode,’ and I watched it and I was completely bored with it.”

Since he was a former NFL player, Schlereth did not need for the program to divulge what happens behind the scenes. In fact, he was somewhat indifferent towards the whole venture, not really finding it interesting for him because he previously lived in a similar situation. To close the segment, Smith wanted to know if his interest would change if the series was simply called Schlereth and ostensibly chronicled his life along the same premise.

“I think it would be the worst show ever produced on television,” Schlereth said, “because you would think you were getting into something really juicy and you realize how freaking boring I am.”

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Caroline Fenton Announces She is Leaving 102.5 The Game

“Please bear with me today as I work through the emotions of leaving a place that has become my home with people that grew into family.”

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Logo for 102.5 The Game in Nashville and a photo of Caroline Fenton
Photo Courtesy: 102.5 The Game

Caroline Fenton, who has been a part of 102.5 The Game in Nashville since 2021, announced today on her X account that today will be her last day with the station. She did not say what she’d be doing next but said she would announce that soon.

Fenton’s announcement said, “Today is my last day at 102.5 The Game. Please bear with me today as I work through the emotions of leaving a place that has become my home with people that grew into family. I’ve felt so much love this week, so thank you.”

Fenton joined the station in 2021 as part of the Stillman & Company show in afternoon drive. When the station shuffled its lineup around in January 2023, Fenton was moved to middays where she has been part of Caroline, Willy & DMase with Willy Daunic and former Tennessee Titans wide receiver Derrick Mason.

Fenton came to Nashville from ESPN in Bristol, CT where she created content and contributed on-air as a social/digital video producer. She is a native of St. Louis and a graduate of LSU.

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Sean Pendergast: I Didn’t Know Brian Windhorst Had This in Him

“He destroyed Luka in the postgame after Game 3.”

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Brian Windhorst
Courtesy: Juan Ocampo, ESPN Images

The Boston Celtics are preparing to take the court Friday night with a 3-0 series lead in the NBA Finals, only needing to secure one more victory to obtain the 18th championship in franchise history. Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Dončić, who helped lead the team to the NBA Finals with a strong postseason performance, has struggled throughout the series and been on the receiving end of criticism about his conduct and play on the court. Seth Payne and Sean Pendergast of SportsRadio 610 in Houston spoke about how Dončić was evoking a similar sentiment to that of former Rockets guard James Harden in that he is an offensive-minded player who demonstrates minimal effort on the defensive end.

Payne expressed that Rockets fans had been frustrated that Dončić would be praised for his style of play while Harden would be somewhat castigated over the years. The plaudits that he has received though seems to have taken a turn amid this series because of the lackluster play.

“This is not a great Finals – [it] could get closed out tonight – and Luka in Game 3 was a mess,” Pendergast said. “He’s arguing with the refs, he’s arguing with his bench… yelling like a child at his coaches. Not a good look.”

The criticism of Dončić from ESPN senior NBA writer Brian Windhorst on SportsCenter with SVP gained notoriety on Wednesday night because of the tone used and the way in which Dončić was called out for carrying himself. The Payne & Pendergast morning drive show played audio of Windhorst delivering his analysis of what occurred on the court and the sentiment surrounding the team.

“Brian Windhorst, man,” Pendergast said. “I didn’t know Windhorst had this in him. He destroyed Luka in the postgame after Game 3.”

Windhorst believed that Dončić put himself in an unacceptable position fouling out of Game 3, specifically in how he looked at his bench after committing his sixth foul and stating that they “better bleeping challenge it.” Within his report, he stated that he was standing in the Mavericks tunnel and that the winners are within the Celtics tunnel and then referenced what Dončić would have to do in order to render the Mavericks tunnel the location of the winners.

“His defensive performance is unacceptable – he is a hole on the court; the Celtics are attacking him,” Windhorst said. “They are ahead in this series because they have attacked him defensively, and you’ve got a situation here where Luka’s complaining about the officiating. They have begged him – they have talked with him, they have pleaded with him. He is costing his team because of how he treats the officials.”

Windhorst continued to voice that Dončić was going to have to get over it, but the fact that he blamed the officials after the game demonstrated to him that he is not close. The performance he had in Game 3 is one that Windhorst called “unacceptable” and attributed it to a reason as to why the Mavericks are not going to win.

“So maybe over the summer somebody will get to him because nobody with the Mavericks or anybody else in his life has, and that’s where the Mavericks are at this point,” Windhorst said. “They’re never going to get to this tunnel with the trophy if he doesn’t improve those aspects of his game.”

The comments from Windhorst elicited further discussion on SportsRadio 610 about the similarities and differences between Dončić and Harden. Whereas Dončić is gaining a reputation for complaining to the officials, Payne conveyed that Harden was “surgical” in his understanding of how to create fouls during the game. Although everyone in the league “begs for calls at some point,” according to Payne, he never recalled Harden having an issue with the officials throughout an entire series.

“If they get swept out of the Finals, that’s going to be a huge story,” Pendergast said. “That’s going to hover over him all summer, like the poor performance in the Finals [and] just the complete fade. You could argue Luka would have been better off playing heroically in a seven-game loss in the Conference Finals than making it to the Finals and getting destroyed.”

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