It’s a dark and bleak day in Chicago. And I’m not talking about the dreary weather outside.
The news that Derrick Rose suffered another knee injury requiring surgery has the city in a collective funk. Everyone is concerned that Rose will become the Chicago basketball version of Gale Sayers.
Scary parallel: Both players got injured in their fourth seasons. Sayers never was the same. Hopefully, that won’t be the case for Rose, but you never know.
Also feeling the pain today are the NBA’s national TV partners. They were counting on the return of the 2010-11 MVP to produce a big year for the Bulls.
The networks loaded up on the Bulls this season: ESPN 10 times, on TNT nine times, on NBA-TV nine times and on ABC five times.
Some of those games already have been played, but there’s … Continue Reading
Time to get ready for some basketball. Bill Simmons gets invited to ride in the ESPN RV for the first time.
Given Joakim Noah’s shaky health status, Bulls fans request that the center gets his own bed.
Here’s the rundown from ESPN.
This week, ESPN will return the popular ESPN NBA RV campaign for the seventh year, in celebration of the upcoming NBA season.
The 30-second spot features NBA analysts Jalen Rose and Mike Breen sleeping soundly in the RV while bunkmates Bill Simmons and Chicago Bulls’ star Joakim Noah deliver a frustrated monologue about their sleeping arrangements. Jeff Van Gundy, unlikely to get any sleep throughout the night, also appears in the ad.
Additional spots will launch throughout the season. The campaign was created in collaboration with creative agency Wieden + Kennedy New York.
ESPN’s NBA season tips … Continue Reading
Who needs training camp? Charles Barkley’s mouth always is ready to go.
Barkley sounded off to Chris Myers in the latest edition of Fox Sports 1on 1 interview show (tonight, 8 p.m. ET).
Here are some soundbites:
On Lebron James as a free agent after this year: ”I hope he goes back to Cleveland with some real fans. Those fans in Miami are faker than a three-dollar bill.”
On his current relationship with Michael Jordan: ”I love Michael. He’s been one of my best friends forever and I hope we can work through it. Our relationship is estranged because I said some things about him as a General Manager the last couple years. I can’t get on television and say he’s done a good job as a GM. One of the things people respect about me whether they like it … Continue Reading
Will be interesting to see if Deadspin picks up on Richard Deitsch’s interview with Bill Simmons at SI.com today.
Simmons strongly denied a John Koblin story last week that he was responsible for Magic Johnson leaving NBA Countdown.
Simmons told Deitsch:
Those unnamed “sources” are liars. Someone planted a fake story to try to make me look bad, and there’s a 99.3 percent chance it came from someone in Bristol (which presents its own set of concerns). I was upset; I can’t lie. Maybe this happens to people more often than I realize, and maybe it comes with the territory, but man … I can’t properly explain how fantastic it was to watch basketball with Magic for nine months.
Later he told Deitsch:
Anyway, that’s why the “report” upset me so much — it wasn’t just that someone made it
… Continue Reading
Update: Bill Simmons, through ESPN, issued this statement:
“I loved getting to know Magic these past 12 months and was saddened to hear about his decision. We genuinely liked working with one another. Last night Lon Rosen and I were already talking about other possible projects that Magic and I could do together down the road. He’s my friend. And a GREAT guy.”
From Lon Rosen, Johnson’s agent.
“Magic and Bill Simmons got to be very close and continue to be close. Bill Simmons and Earvin Johnson are friends. Earvin’s close to Bill. We called Bill before the release went out. Bill has been to parties at Earvin’s house. He’s been to Dodgers game with Bill. He likes Bill a lot.”
Bill Simmons issued a tweet, refuting a Deadspin story that he is responsible for Magic Johnson’s departure from … Continue Reading
Usually I don’t put up these kind of videos, but I can’t resist this one.
Jalen Rose in a Grantland video says Michael Jordan will play one game for the Charlotte Bobcats this year. And he’s serious.
The comment initially makes Bill Simmons speechless, no easy feat.
Jordan now is 50 and has packed on a few pounds since his playing days. Hard to think he’s going to pull a Minnie Minoso, the former Sox player who had two at bats in 1980 at the age of 54.
Rose, though, appears to be serious. At the very least, his remark will generate page views for Grantland. Hopefully, a few for me too.
… Continue Reading
Jason McIntyre of Big Lead has the latest on ESPN’s NBA studio show:
Michael Wilbon’s role on ESPN’s NBA Countdown will be diminished next season, and taking his spot on the set will most likely be former 76ers coach Doug Collins, multiple sources told The Big Lead.
The move is primarily so that Wilbon can return to focusing on the show that made him a star, Pardon the Interruption. In recent years, Wilbon has increasingly appeared on PTI via remote – from Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Arizona, etc – diluting some of the outstanding chemistry he’s built up with longtime friend Tony Kornheiser.
Wilbon’s frequent travel has also led to PTI replacing him with Bob Ryan or J.A. Adande, and the end result of both of those factors is that ratings for the show have sagged in the last two
… Continue Reading
It’s been a relatively slow week on the sports media front. So news that ESPN’s spring ratings suffered a sharp decline prompted a mid-level feeding frenzy.
According to Sports Business Daily, ESPN had a 32 percent dip in primetime ratings during the spring, its worst performance in a single quarter since at least 2006. The network’s total-day viewership fell 20 percent, the lowest since 2007.
DOOM AND GLOOM IN BRISTOL!!
The reason, though, seemed fairly obvious. ESPN got dealt a sucky hand for the NBA playoffs. It was capped off by a West Final featuring two small market teams that don’t move the needle. Then to make matters worse, San Antonio finished off Memphis in four games.
Meanwhile, TNT cashed in with ratings-monster Miami winning in 7 over Indiana.
ESPN PR guru Mike Soltys didn’t single out the Spurs … Continue Reading
Say what you want about LeBron James, people tune in to watch him to do his thing the same way they did for Michael Jordan.
Jordan’s numbers during the Finals actually are higher, but that is due in part to the TV landscape being much different in the 90s. Fewer choices back then. Also, Michael was Michael.
But you can be sure ABC and NBA is very happy to have LeBron playing 7-game series in 2013. The guy puts on quite a show.
Also in the comparison department, James at 28 now has the same amount of NBA titles Jordan had at 28. He has a long way to go before his final legacy is written.
Here are the overnight ratings from last night:
NBA Finals Game 7 on ABC – the Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs … Continue Reading
So who was cheering more when Ray Allen hit that big three to send last night’s game into overtime? LeBron James and Heat fans (at least those who stayed) or ABC/ESPN executives?
I’m fairly sure ESPN president John Skipper broke his own standing jump record.
Thanks to Allen and James finally being James, ABC will hit the jackpot with a Game 7 Thursday. Game 6 did a huge rating, and the grand finale should be even bigger.
Here are the details from ESPN:
NBA Finals Game 6 on ABC – the Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs to even the series in an overtime thriller – scored a 14.7 overnight rating, according to Nielsen. This is the second highest-rated NBA Finals Game 6 ever on ABC and the fourth highest rated game ever on the network.
Game 6 is also
… Continue Reading